The Independent reports that the UK’s National Health System has experienced a major outage “expected to last more than three weeks” after a third-party provider of the NHS’s CareNotes software was hit by software- extortionists.

Unfortunately, as a result, doctors will not be able to see their patient notes and mental health trusts providing care “across the country will be unable to access patient notes for weeks and possibly months”.

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust has declared a critical incident over the outage, which is believed to have affected dozens of trusts, and has told staff it is developing contingency plans. One NHS trust chief said the situation could last for “months” with several mental health trusts, and there was concern among leaders that the problem was not being prioritised.

In an email to staff, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Nick Broughton said: “Cyber ​​attacks targeted systems used to refer patients to healthcare, including ambulance dispatch, out-of-hours appointments, triage, out-of-hours treatment time, emergency prescriptions. and security alerts. It also targeted the financial system used by the trust… The NHS chief executive said: “Everything is not working. It’s really worrying… we’re at great risk as a result because you can’t get records and details of assessments, appointments, key observations, mental health medical observations. You don’t see any of that… Staff have to write it all down and enter it later.”

They added: “There is an increased risk to patients. It is difficult for us to discharge people, for example to residential care, because we cannot access records.”

“‘Weeks’ is an unreasonable amount of time,” states Slashdot reader Bruce66423, wondering why this can’t be solved with a seemingly simple restore from backups?

And Alan Woodward, a professor of cyber security at the University of Surrey, warns Guardian that “Even if it was ransomware…that doesn’t mean data wasn’t stolen.”

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