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NHS in the north west hit by major IT problems - reports suggest a cyber attack

Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images

The NHS is investigating "an issue with IT" amid reports of a cyber attack on its systems.

Hospital trusts and GP groups in Lancashire and Hertfordshire were among those reporting problems, with one warning patients to only visit hospital accident and emergency departments "if absolutely necessary".

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and the resort town's clinical commissioning group (CCG) warned of problems.

Southport & Ormskirk Trust say they have been affected and both their hospitals are open for emergency care only

The Trust says it will communicate what patients should do about appointments over the weekend in due course.

NHS Digital, which is responsible for the health service's cyber security, says computer systems are believed to have been hit by a ransomware cyber attack using malware called "Wanna Decryptor".

Viruses such as ransomware are normally delivered via emails which trick the recipient into opening attachments and releasing malware onto their system in a technique known as phishing.

Image of what NHS staff have been reporting they are seeing on their computer screen

REPORTS: major computer issues in the NHS across the north west

Hospitals, Walk-in centres, and Doctors's surgeries are said to be affected

One NHS Trust told ITV News that staff were being told to be vigilant and not to open incoming e-mails.

It's being reported that a number of Health Trusts have been hit by serious IT issues, allegedly caused by a cyber attack.

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