London Hospitals Have Cancelled Cancer Surgeries After Cyber-attack 2024

Cancer Surgeries in London were canceled this week due to a Russian cyber-attack, which is still causing significant disruption to NHS services in the capital.

Since the attack began last Monday, St Thomas’ and King’s College hospitals have postponed treatments scheduled for cancer patients by their surgeons, according to the Guardian.

They were obliged to take the action since the hack prevented them from providing blood transfusions to any patients in need.

NHS management Health sector Journal Cancer Surgeries

Russian hackers, believed to be from the Qilin gang, conducted a ransomware assault on Synnovis, which delivers blood testing to St Thomas’, King’s, and other hospitals in southeast London.

One senior NHS management told the Health sector Journal (HSJ) that the attack, one of the most severe to batter the sector, was “everyone’s worst nightmare”.

NHS England has given little details regarding the effect of the cyber-attack, despite the fact that it is still causing severe disruption for six NHS trusts and hundreds of GP practices in south-east London, who together care for about 2 million people.

On Friday, it declined to reveal how many operations, including cancer and transplant surgery, had been postponed this week due to the attack. Officials claimed that they did not have data for the number of surgeries affected, despite management in the hospitals concerned having to explain to patients why their procedures have been delayed.

NHS England issued a statement on Thursday stating that “some non-urgent operations and procedures, including transplants,” were being postponed.

Dr. Chris Streather, the medical director for NHS England’s London area, said in a statement: “We are sorry to all those who have been affected, and staff will work hard to reschedule appointments and treatments as soon as possible.”

The same announcement revealed, for the first time, that six NHS trusts had been impacted, four more than NHS England had previously announced. They include the South London, Maudsley, and Oxleas mental health trusts, the Lewisham and Greenwich acute trust, the Bromley community services trust, and the very large acute trusts that administer King’s and St Thomas’ hospitals.

The lack of openness is raising concern among those affected by the cyber-attack, which, according to the HSJ, is expected to cause issues for “weeks, not days”.

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