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NHS cyber attack 'could affect hospital care'

Dr Kubo Macak, senior lecturer in International Law at the University of Exeter and an expert on cyber warfare, said: "Early reports indicate that today's cyber operations against the NHS may affect the care for many hospital patients, with potential impact on their health and lives."

At least Six NHS organisations in the North West have been affected.

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

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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.

Watch: Investigation into A&E mental health crisis

There has been an alarming rise in the number of people with mental health problems who feel they've got nowhere to go for treatment other than their local A&E.

An exclusive investigation by Granada Reports has revealed more than 40- thousand people with psychiatric issues went to A&E in the North West in the last three years - a rise of almost 70 per cent.

The Government says it's investing millions in support.

Charities and people affected say mental health services are collapsing due to cuts.

Sarah Rogers has this report:

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Seven-day GP surgeries plan launched in Greater Manchester

A scheme to get to make GPs available to their patients seven days a week is being launched in Greater Manchester where it's hoped it will reduce waiting times and take pressure off hospitals.

The plan would mean extra appointments available on weekdays as well as in the evening and weekends.

It's controversial because some say there's already a shortage of GPs and it could come at a high cost to the NHS.

Daniel Hewitt reports.

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