Breaking News: More than 200 ‘life-saving’ operations cancelled by NHS hospitals after cyberattack

This blog highlights the most recent news of the NHS hospital attack and how London hospitals may take many months to resolve. The effects of this attack fear cancer patients have operations cancelled after NHS cyber-attacks.

What Happened?

Six large NHS Trusts across London were impacted, including hospitals such as Guy's and St Thomas', Great Ormond Street and King's College Hospital. Hundreds of operations have already been cancelled.

The cyberattack that hit NHS hospitals caused chaos as more than 200 'life-saving' operations had to be cancelled. The attack targeted the computer systems of several hospitals, leading to a widespread shutdown of essential services. This forced medical staff to reschedule surgeries and appointments, leaving patients in critical condition waiting for their procedures to be rescheduled. The impact of this cyberattack on the healthcare system has raised serious concerns about the vulnerability of critical infrastructure to cyber threats.

Why Was This Significant?

The cancellation of 'life-saving' operations due to a cyberattack highlights the potential risks of relying on digital systems in healthcare. The NHS hospitals affected by this attack could not access patient records, schedule surgeries, or communicate with staff, leading to significant disruptions in patient care.

 

Cancer Patients Have Operations Cancelled After NHS Cyber Attacks

The NHS cyber-attacks that occurred had a significant impact on cancer patients, resulting in the cancellation of over 200 emergency and life-saving operations. The cyber attack specifically targeted Synnovis, a key supplier of pathology services to the NHS, which consequently prevented them from carrying out tens of thousands of tests daily. This inability to conduct essential tests had a cascading effect on the provision of healthcare services, particularly for cancer patients.

The cancellation of emergency surgery for cancer patients disrupts their treatment plans, potentially exacerbating their conditions and compromising their chances of recovery. The delay in essential operations not only causes physical distress but also takes an emotional toll on patients and their families.

Several hospitals and services were affected by the cyber attack. Guy's and St Thomas' Foundation Trust, a prominent healthcare provider in London, and South London and Maudsley NHS trust were among those severely impacted. These disruptions in healthcare services highlight the vulnerability of crucial systems and the need for increased cybersecurity measures to protect patient care and safety.

NHS Alert Over Shortage of Type-O Blood Following Hospital Cyberattack

The NHS has issued an alert regarding a shortage of type-O blood following a recent major hospital cyberattack. This unfortunate incident has disrupted the normal operations of hospitals, resulting in many cancelled appointments and postponed operations. As a consequence, there is a critical shortage of type-O blood, which is often in high demand due to its universal compatibility.

The cyberattack has caused significant disruptions to hospitals' computer systems, leading to the cancellation of numerous appointments and the rescheduling of important surgeries. This has resulted in a backlog of patients requiring medical attention, including those in need of blood transfusions. Type-O blood is particularly crucial as it can be used for patients with any blood type, making it a valuable resource in emergency situations.

Recognising the situation's urgency, health leaders have initiated an urgent blood drive to address the shortage. They are urging individuals with type-O blood to donate and help save lives. The NHS is working closely with blood donation centres to ensure an adequate supply of type-O blood to meet the increasing demand caused by the cyberattack.

People with type-O blood need to respond to this call for donations promptly. By doing so, they will be making a valuable contribution towards the recovery of the healthcare system and the well-being of those in need. Together, we can overcome the challenges posed by the hospital cyberattack and ensure that all patients receive the lifesaving blood transfusions they require.

Impact of The Cyber Attack 

The impact may extend beyond London as Synnovis supplies some services to other hospitals.

The Independent can reveal:

  • More than a third of procedures and operations have been cancelled, which includes over 3,000 non-surgical appointments and hundreds of patients who have been referred for urgent cancer diagnosis.
  • Mothers waiting to have c-sections have also had their procedures cancelled, and hospitals are investigating potential harm.
  • Transplant operations have been cancelled, and hospitals have had to reduce the number of people they can admit.

How Did The Hackers Do It? 

The cyberattack on NHS hospitals, orchestrated by unidentified hackers, has caused widespread disruption to healthcare services beyond London. With Synnovis being a key supplier of essential pathology services to numerous hospitals, the impact of the attack has been felt across various regions. Over 3,000 non-surgical appointments and hundreds of urgent cancer diagnosis referrals have been cancelled, affecting a significant number of patients.

In addition to the cancellation of procedures and operations, mothers awaiting c-sections have had their procedures postponed, potentially putting their health and the health of their unborn babies at risk. Transplant operations have also been affected, causing delays and complications for patients in need of life-saving surgeries.

The hackers responsible for this cyberattack exploited hospital computer system vulnerabilities, gaining unauthorised access to critical data and disrupting essential services.

The cyberattack on NHS hospitals has had far-reaching consequences, impacting healthcare services well beyond London. Synnovis, a vital supplier of pathology services to multiple hospitals, plays a key role in the operation of these facilities. As a result of the attack, over 3,000 non-surgical appointments and numerous urgent cancer diagnosis referrals have been cancelled, leaving a significant number of patients without crucial medical care.

The cancellation of procedures and operations has had a domino effect, leading to delays in important surgeries, such as transplant operations, and reducing the number of patients hospitals can admit. This has put immense strain on healthcare facilities and staff, who are working tirelessly to mitigate the impact of the cyberattack on patient care.

Conclusion 

The cyberattack on NHS hospitals has had devastating consequences, leading to the cancellation of over 200 ‘life-saving’ operations and putting the lives of countless patients at risk. The impact of the attack has been felt not only in London but also in other regions where Synnovis supplies essential services to hospitals.

Comments from our DI team 

Barney, our DarkInvader Investigator, comments:

"DarkInvader can play a key role in preventing cyber attacks such as the one experienced by the NHS. By leveraging DarkInvader's dark web monitoring capabilities, we can identify any leaked data or emerging threats targeting specific organisations.

Additionally, DarkInvader provides detailed insights into the methods and tactics used by hackers and cybercriminals, allowing organisations to improve their security measures and develop robust cybersecurity strategies. This approach not only helps mitigate risks but also strengthens the overall cybersecurity posture of companies, ensuring they are better protected against potential attacks."

Here at DarkInvader, we provide a range of services offering comprehensive monitoring of dark web activities, vigilantly scanning for mentions of your brand and intellectual property, potential attack strategies, and the intentions of possible adversaries.

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