Wrong sort of virus shuts down three UK hospitals

t9v4906 750xx1100-1467-0-0Malware has forced three UK hospitals to cancel routine operations and outpatient appointments.

The Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust says a “major incident” has been caused by a “computer virus” which infected its electronic systems over weekend.

The hospital has taken the decision to shut down the majority of its computer networks in order to combat the virus.

Dr Karen Dunderdale, the trust’s deputy chief executive said that the hospital following expert advice, had shut down most its systems so it could be isolated and destroyed.

The use of a shared IT system also means the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust has been taken offline as staff attempt to combat the attack.

Outpatient appointments and diagnostic procedures that were set to take place at the infected hospitals on Monday and Tuesday have been cancelled, while medical emergencies involving major trauma and women in high-risk labour are being diverted to neighbouring hospitals.

Some areas, including audiology psiological measurement, antenatal, community and therapy, chemotherapy, paediatrics, and gynaecology, are still going.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust says it is reviewing the situation on an hourly basis and offers its apologies to patients who are being affected.

It is unclear what the “virus” is, or whether or not is ransomware which is fast becoming the tool of choice of hackers.