NAO to investigate NHS cyber attack

The National Audit Office (NAO) has announced plans to investigate the recent cyber attack that left NHS organisations including GP practices struggling to maintain normal patient care.

LMCs called for compensation for GP practices after the ransomware attack in May disrupted services and left practices facing a backlog predicted to last weeks.

Leading GP systems suppliers said there was no evidence that confidential patient data had been compromised in the attack, but the impact on general practice and on wider NHS services was significant.

In a statement on Wednesday, the NAO confirmed it would investigate the cyber attack to clarify the impact on the NHS, reasons why some parts of the health service were affected more than others and to 'set out the facts about the cyber attack's impact on the NHS and its patients'.

NHS cyber attack

The investigation will also assess the 'roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders and how they responded to the attack'.

The statement said: 'In the UK, although the attack was not aimed specifically at the NHS, the NHS was particularly affected. According to reports some hospitals and GPs surgeries were unable to access patient data. This led to appointments and operations being cancelled. It also led to ambulances being diverted from hospitals in some areas.'

Organisations wishing to provide evidence to support the NAO investigation have been urged to contact its investigation team.

Photo: JH Lancy

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