UPDATE: All ‘outpatients, endoscopy, cardiology and radiology’ appointments cancelled due to Cyber attack

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The trust which runs Boston, Grantham and Lincoln hospitals has cancelled all ‘Outpatients, endoscopy, cardiology and radiology’ scheduled for this weekend after it was attacked by a cyber attack reported to be ‘creeping’ across the country.

The attack is reported to block health care professionals from accessing patient records and ask for money in return for unlocking them.

A spokesman for ULHT said at least Lincoln and Pilgrim hospitals had been affected by the virus.

Mark Brassington chief operating officer at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We can confirm that ULHT has been affected by the cyber attack that has hit a number of Trusts across the country.

Lincoln county Hospital, Pilgrim Hospital and Grantham hospital are all affected.

“At the moment all IT systems and many phone lines within our hospitals are switched off. Departments are taking action to ensure patient care is prioritised.

“We will be diverting some emergency cases to local hospitals which are not affected by the attack, where possible. We ask patients to only come to our A&Es if absolutely necessary.

“We do not yet know how long this incident will last, and therefore are cancelling all outpatient, endoscopy, cardiology and radiology appointments scheduled for this weekend.

“All ULHT staff are asked to come into work as planned this weekend.”

A spokesman for the Lincolnshire East CCG also confirmed some doctors’ surgeries were also affected.

It is understood many hospitals are being asked to shut down their computers and tech experts are battling to fix the problem but computers at walk-in centres, hospitals, and at GP surgeries have been taken offline.

Patients elsewhere have been urged to avoid them all ‘unless absolutely necessary’, and should call 111 for triage and medical advice.

Friday, 3.28pm - Computers have been shut down across the country after NHS computers across the county were hit by a cyber attack.

A virus is understood to have targeted the health service network somewhere in Lancashire.

It is understood United Lincolnshire’s Hospitals Trust has also been affected in someway - the Trust says it is due to put out a statement.

It is understood tech experts are now battling to fix the problem, but computers at walk-in centres, hospitals, and at GP surgeries have been taken offline.

Patients elsewhere have been urged to avoid them all ‘unless absolutely necessary’, and should call 111 for triage and medical advice.

A statement from NHS Digital said: “A number of NHS organisations have reported to NHS Digital that they have been affected by a ransomware attack which is affecting a number of different organisations.

“The investigation is at an early stage but we believe the malware variant is Wanna Decryptor.

“At this stage we do not have any evidence that patient data has been accessed. We will continue to work with affected organisations to confirm this.

“NHS Digital is working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre, the Department of Health and NHS England to support affected organisations and to recommend appropriate mitigations.

“This attack was not specifically targeted at the NHS and is affecting organisations from across a range of sectors.

“Our focus is on supporting organisations to manage the incident swiftly and decisively, but we will continue to communicate with NHS colleagues and will share more information as it becomes available.

“As at 15.30, 16 NHS organisations had reported that they were affected by this issue.”