Computer Virus hits London hospitals


Three major London hospitals have been forced to revert to processing patients manually after a computer virus shut down their computer systems.

St Bartholomew’s, the Royal London Hospital and The London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green were forced to divert ambulances wo other hospitals to ensure that patients did not suffer.

“The Trust’s well rehearsed emergency procedures have been activated to ensure that key clinical systems continue while network access is being established,” said a statement from Barts and The London Hospital. “Manual backup systems are in use and we are in the process of restoring the computer systems with priority being given to the most important areas for maintaining patients services.”

The hospital said operating theatres and outpatients departments remained operational. They have however reduced some non essential activities.

“The Trust is making every effort to provide transport for those patients that need it, but these services are likely to be disrupted by difficulties with computer systems,” said the hospital.

Richard Hales, UK and Ireland country manager at F-Secure said an urgent review of the security policy at Barts and The London NHS Trust is needed. “If they are leaving themselves open to a simple computer virus, it could just be the tip of the iceberg.”