NHS 111 service software hit by cyberattack

A software outage that has affected the running of the NHS 111 service across the UK was caused by a cyberattack on managed services provider Advanced. The incident, first reported early on Thursday 4 August, affected several of the firm’s healthcare customers, but it says the majority of the 140 NHS trusts that use its software were unaffected.

Advanced provide the Adastra patient management system which helps clinicians at the telephone and online 111 service to manage and refer patients for care, including ambulance dispatch, out-of-hours appointment bookings, and emergency prescriptions.

Simon Short, COO at Advanced, told the BBC: “We can confirm that the incident is related to a cyberattack and as a precaution, we immediately isolated all our health and care environments.

“Early intervention from our incident response team contained this issue to a small number of servers representing 2% of our health and care infrastructure.”

The systems are expected to be fully recovered early this week and, although the 111 service is still operating under its contingency plan, GPs have been warned to be prepared for an increase in patient enquiries until normal service is fully restored.

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