Hospital's systems hit by computer virus

Infection "more widespread" than first thought

Infection "more widespread" than first thought

Systems at Barts and the London NHS Trust have fallen victim to a computer virus.

The Trust, which covers three hospitals - St Bartholomew's in the City, The Royal London in Whitechapel and The London Chest in Bethnal Green - said the hospitals' have adopted manual backup systems as a result of the infection.

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According to the Trust, "well-rehearsed emergency procedures have been activated" and "key clinical systems continue while network access is being established".

A spokesman for the Trust said the virus was first detected yesterday afternoon, after which the Trust's IT department put in measures to counter the attack.

"At the close of business we thought it was contained but when staff logged on again in the morning, we found it was more widespread than we thought. The network was overloaded," he told silicon.com.

Some computing systems remain offline but for the most part patient services are unaffected.

While some non-essential services at the hospitals were trimmed, A&E, operating theatres and outpatients' departments remained open.

Ambulances are being temporarily diverted to neighbouring hospitals the Trust said. Patients with appointments at the hospital should attend as normal and the Trust has opened a helpline for urgent patient queries on 0207 943 1335.