WHIPPS CROSS: Hospital hit by computer virus

WHIPPS Cross University Hospital has been hit by a "crippling" computer virus, which has knocked out a large proportion of its IT system.

The fault, which first emerged last week, is still being cleared today by staff, but a Whipps spokeswoman said no patient care had been affected by the problem so far.

One hospital patient, who did not wish to be named, told the Guardian they had been informed that the virus had "crippled" scores of computers and created havoc for staff.

A spokeswoman for the hospital said: "Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS Trust can confirm that a number of its IT systems have been affected by a computer virus.

 "At present, no patient care has been affected by this, and work is underway to ensure that the systems affected can be reinstated as a matter of urgency.

"The trust would like to reassure its patients and the local community it serves that it has a full business continuity plan in place for incidents such as this."

The hospital is expected to comment further and provide more information about the problem soon.

It comes after Barts and the London NHS Trust was criticised in an investigation in January over a virus which hit Bartholomew's Hospital, The Royal London in Whitechapel and The London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green last November.

In that case a report concluded that the fault had the potential to affect the "wellbeing of patients and morale of staff, as well as the long-term reputation of the trust."

Some non-urgent operations were also postponed during the virus at the hospitals.

However the full circumstances behind the Whipps virus are yet to be established.

Comments (3)

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1:14pm Fri 21 Aug 09

andychurchill says...

I look forward to hearing the full report.

It will be interesting to hear which virus they were hit by, how it got there, e.g. was it via an exploit that could have been patched weeks/months ago, or was it introduced by a member of staff who disobeyed any IT rules they might have there?

And although it hasn't impacted on patient care, I wonder whether it will have affected patient privacy, if the virus has opened a backdoor through which private data may have been accessed?
I look forward to hearing the full report. It will be interesting to hear which virus they were hit by, how it got there, e.g. was it via an exploit that could have been patched weeks/months ago, or was it introduced by a member of staff who disobeyed any IT rules they might have there? And although it hasn't impacted on patient care, I wonder whether it will have affected patient privacy, if the virus has opened a backdoor through which private data may have been accessed? andychurchill
  • Score: 0

1:17pm Fri 21 Aug 09

andychurchill says...

And they're still trying to clear it since last week? Seriously? What kind of incompetent IT experts do they have down there?

I can just imagine them running round from machine to machine trying to wipe viruses, and haven't actually disconnected them from the network or something, so they keep getting reinffected. I wouldn't put it past them. A week!?! Now I know why the NHS waste so much money on IT.
And they're still trying to clear it since last week? Seriously? What kind of incompetent IT experts do they have down there? I can just imagine them running round from machine to machine trying to wipe viruses, and haven't actually disconnected them from the network or something, so they keep getting reinffected. I wouldn't put it past them. A week!?! Now I know why the NHS waste so much money on IT. andychurchill
  • Score: 0

2:46pm Fri 21 Aug 09

fjl says...

It's not just the NHS. This current government have absolutely no idea when it come to technology. Money is being thrown down the drain in all departments and security is a joke.
It's not just the NHS. This current government have absolutely no idea when it come to technology. Money is being thrown down the drain in all departments and security is a joke. fjl
  • Score: 0

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