Important information related to cyber attack – GP practices

Important information related to cyber attack – GP practices

GP practices in West Lancashire will be open on Monday 15 May following the cyber attack which took place on Friday 12 May 2017 and affected the NHS and many other organisations around the world.

We have been working all weekend to try to combat the impact of this global cyber attack, however, the impact is very significant and it is therefore unfortunately very likely that GP practice services will be affected during the week ahead.  We would appreciate patients’ help and patience this week while we try to restore a normal service.    We would also strongly encourage patients to consider other health service options that are available locally which may be able to help you instead e.g. pharmacists.

GP practices in West Lancashire dealing with urgent appointments as a priority as these patients may require more immediate care and support.

As practices will be running a limited service some of the more routine patient appointment reviews may have to be rebooked for a later date.  There is also likely to be delays faced where patients have ordered their repeat prescriptions online via Patient Access.  It is acknowledged that this is an inconvenience but would be grateful for your support during this time.

Those patients who can access their own records should continue to do so. If you need to attend surgery if you can bring copies of your prescriptions with you that would be useful.

This week, although GP practices remain open, they may not have full access to patient records, prescriptions and appointment systems.

The NHS is asking patients to continue to use the NHS wisely and remember that they can seek help and advice from a range of other sources, such as pharmacies or 111.

What you can do to help

  • Before contacting your practice, consider if it is urgent, could it wait or could you be helped by another service for example NHS 111 or your local pharmacy?
  • Patients who have made GP appointments already may not end up being seen depending on how the systems are and urgency of the appointment is.  In some cases, it may not be possible for the practice to contact patients in advance to change their appointment
  • If you need to book an urgent GP appointment on Monday morning, you will be able to do so but please bear with us if you have difficulty in getting through to your practice and keep trying.
  • Please bear in mind that practices may be running more slowly than usual if they are unable to access some of their systems and the public are asked to be patient with staff.
  • All phone lines for GP practices are working normally, but some electronic call queuing systems may be affected. In this instance, practice phone lines will still work and patients will be able to ring their practice on the usual number, but they may experience some delays in getting through. If this happens, people are asked to keep trying to get through and thank them for their patience and understanding while NHS It technicians work to resolve the problem.

A spokesperson for NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:

“The reported cyber attack has had major impact on local health services, within the hospital, walk-in centres and GP practices.  Many of our GP practices in West Lancashire have lost access to valuable information and systems they need to run as normal.  This means many are seeing urgent patients as a priority and are unable to deliver all of their usual primary care services.  Before contacting your GP practice, please consider whether it is urgent or can wait, and whether any service such as pharmacies or 111 can help instead.  Patient safety remains our priority, but we would urge our local community in West Lancashire to support GP practices with help and patience during this time”.