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NHS operations cancelled amid major cyber attack at London hospitals



Two London hospital trusts have been forced to cancel all non-emergency operations and blood tests following a ”major” cyber attack.

Pathology systems at Kings College Hospital Foundation Trust and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals Foundation Trusts have been hit by a malware attack, according to emails seen by The Independent.

Synnovis is the supplier of blood tests, swabs, bowel tests and other services for the hospitals, which serve NHS patients across six London boroughs.

The supplier covers, Guy’s Hospital which runs children’s hospital the Evelina, Harefield Hospital, King’s College Hospital, Princess Royal University Hospital, Royal Brompton Hospital and St Thomas’ hospital.

Synnovis warned on Monday that it had been hit by a major malware attack, impacting tens of thousands of patients, according to sources close to the hospitals.

GPs have been told to cancel all non-emergency pathology appointments, while hospital staff have been told to request emergency blood samples only for patients who require transfusions.

Multiple senior NHS sources have confirmed the National Cyber Security Center is now involved, while NHS England have been forced to declare the second highest incident level.

In a message to staff on Monday, Guy’s and St Thomas’ said “Synnovis, the pathology provider, for both King’s and Guy’s and St Thomas’ informed us of a major incident with ICT systems.”

A critical incident has been declared and staff have been told to prioritise urgent and emergency result requests.

A senior NHS source told The Independent, transplants have been impacted as patients cannot have their blood tests crossed checked and that healthcare leaders in london have been warned the incident could take “weeks or months” to resolve.

In a separate message, Synnovis said its IT systems suffered a “malware attack”, which is affecting all services.

It said there would be delays for patients receiving results, and GPs have been asked to cancel all non-urgent blood test appointments.

“Given the nature and magnitude of this attack, this is an evolving situation,” it said.

The emails say it is unclear how long the issue will last.

The National Cyber Security Centre and the National Crime Agency have been contacted for comment.

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