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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: Former soldier sets up café to help support veterans

A former soldier has set up a café to help support Armed Forces veterans.

Around half a million people in the north west have served in the forces and as many as one in seven could be suffering mental health issues.

The café came about after Phil Burton, a former Royal Artillery Lance Bombardier, asked his council for help coordinating services for veterans.

This report from Amy Welch

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New report highlights 'potholes backlog'

Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/PA Images

Roads in the North West are in urgent need of work to repair potholes, according to a new report.

Campaigners say there is a £12 billion backlog of repairs across England and Wales.

Researchers warned that some roads may not be fit for purpose in five years time - and that some may even have to close.

The government says it has committed 6 billions pounds for councils to improve the roads.

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