GPs doing everything within their power to minimise disruption following cyber attack

Publication date: 15 May 2017

RCGP Chair, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, said: 

"GPs and our teams around the UK are working hard and doing whatever is within our power locally to minimise disruption so that we can provide 'business as usual' - or as close to it as possible - to our patients tomorrow.

"Indeed, many GPs are in their practices today, trying to reboot computer systems and install updated 'patches' so that the servers aren't overloaded tomorrow morning.

"Because GP practices do not operate on just one system, there is local variation in the support and advice being offered to GPs, but some Clinical Commissioning Groups have issued guidance and are updating GPs directly via text message.

"The College is issuing its own guidance for practices and patients and our Health Informatics Group is in regular contact with NHS Digital who have told us that they are focusing on getting primary care services up and running as normal.

"We have also heard from the top levels of EMIS - the clinical software that many GP practices use for patient data- that EMIS Web is unaffected and access remains available.

"GPs, of course, can still diagnose and treat patients without using computers but we ask our patients to bear with us if routine services such as repeat prescriptions and appointment booking services are slightly disrupted this week.

"In the meantime, we wish to reassure patients that your GP will be there for you as usual if you are taken ill and that you will receive the best possible care from the NHS, despite the current difficulties."


College support for GP practices following cyber attack on Friday 12 May

The College has issued the following guidance and resources to GP practices:

The patient notice can be printed off and and displayed at your practice. 

Cyber attack

Notice to Patients 15 May 2017

Last Friday, 12 May, the NHS, along with many other organisations, experienced a 'cyber attack' which may be affecting our computer systems.

There are no reports of any patient information being compromised but the Practice is taking the threat very seriously and we may need to suspend our IT systems as a precautionary measure over the coming days.

This may cause delays such as making appointments and printing prescriptions.

We are grateful for your patience and understanding as we try to ensure safe care for everyone.


Notice to Staff and all healthcare professionals using the practice IT system 15 May 2017

Last Friday, 12 May, the NHS, along with many other organisations, experienced a cyber attack, which may affect our IT systems.

NHS Digital has received no reports of patient data being compromised but we are obviously taking this threat very seriously.
Please ensure you:

  • Avoid opening any attachments in emails and social media
  • Do not use USB sticks

What to do if a compute is infected?

  • Disconnect the computer from the network
  • Contact relevant staff member
  • Use paper encounter forms


Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7633
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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