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Cyber-attack incident closed across Fylde coast

The cyber-attack that took down hundreds of electronic systems across the Fylde coast earlier this month has officially ended, NHS bosses have confirmed.

Many computers and other electronic systems used by the NHS across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre were shut down after the ransomware attack – which began on 12 May – caused problems across the whole of the UK.

The hard work of NHS staff and IT colleagues meant services continued as normally as possible in both hospitals and doctors surgeries, with minimal appointments having to be cancelled.

There were 1,217 computers affected across the Fylde coast – 996 of which were at the hospital.

IT staff visited GP practices throughout the weekend to make sure they all had access to clinical systems to reopen on the Monday morning.

Seven days after the outbreak – Friday 19 May – 95 per cent of computers had been fixed, and all affected machines on the Fylde coast were back online by Monday 22 May, just 10 days after the cyber-attack began.

And NHS managers at NHS Fylde and Wyre and NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who worked in partnership to deal with the effects of the cyber-attack, have now closed the incident.

In a joint statement, Tony Naughton, clinical chief officer at Fylde and Wyre CCG, Amanda Doyle, chief clinical officer at Blackpool CCG, and Wendy Swift, chief executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, said: “We are pleased to report that we have now closed down the cyber-attack incident on the Fylde coast.

“The effects of this attack were felt across all of our organisations and we must pay tribute to our staff who have worked tirelessly to make sure services have continued to run effectively and safely for our patients.

“We also reiterate our thanks to people living across the Fylde coast who have shown a great deal of understanding during this time of difficulty.”

Regardless of the cyber-attack, people across the area are asked to consider thinking carefully about whether they need to access emergency health services in the area. If you have a non-emergency health issue there are a number of services, such as walk-in centres and local pharmacies that can help

If you are unsure what to do, call NHS 111 or visit www.whyaande.nhs.uk