Computer Virus Hack

Computer Virus/Hack – 16 May 2017

When the Care Quality Commission visited Spilsby in November 2016, their Lead Inspector complimented us on our website that sought to explain transparently how the NHS works and how it sometimes struggles. This is our take on the NHS cyber-attack debacle. GP computers are owned by the NHS and the Windows operating system is managed by the NHS. On Friday afternoon, Lincolnshire CCGs rang all 100 Lincolnshire GP practices and told them to shut their computers down immediately. We were informed that our secure ‘N3’ internet link had been compromised. This, thank fully turned out to be incorrect.

The ‘malware’ affected both healthcare and non-healthcare organisations worldwide. Over the weekend Lincolnshire CCG’s Gold Command convened several times to discuss the ensuing crisis. We invoked our own disaster recovery plan in order to overcome our local issues. We were provided with a software ‘patch’ for our computers on Monday afternoon which we were able to apply and start the process of overcoming the issues that had been caused by the virus.

There is no safe pen-and-paper fall-back position for patient care in the 21st century. Spilsby Surgery has a finite number of staff and the working day isn’t elastic. Over the remainder of the week we’ll have to prioritise patient care (both clinical and administrative) for the most sick and vulnerable. If we don’t respond with our usual speed, effectiveness and good grace we apologise, but hope to be able to resume our normal service very soon.

Thank you for your understanding.