The NHS has provided an update about planned treatment and outpatient appointments following the ransomware attack on its IT systems.
It has posted advice for patients after a small number of hospitals had to cancel patient appointments due to a cyber attack which affected 150 countries worldwide.
The update says: “If you have a planned operatio, procedure or outpatient appointment at a hospital affected by this incident, please visit the hospital website for further advice and information about routine services at this time. If you are still unsure what to do, contact the hospital directly.
“Patients already in hospital at this time will continue to receive normal care. Inpatients will be told if any changes to their planned treatment are needed because of this incident.”
The NHS announced on Monday that it was ‘open for business’ but acknowledged that some hospitals and GP surgeries are still suffering disruption.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that a million people were treated on Monday, with GP surgeries working hard to ensure as few patients as possible are affected.
People with diabetes who have blood tests or other appointments with their GP are urged to attend unless they are contacted by their surgery and told otherwise.
“All GPs surgeries did open, though some of them had to use pen and paper,” said Ms Rudd. “The vast majority of patients have noticed no difference. It has been a very strong response.”
Dr Anne Rainsberry, national incident director at NHS England, added: “There are encouraging signs that the situation is improving, with fewer hospitals having to divert patients from their A&E units.
“The message to patients is clear: the NHS is open for business. Staff are working hard to ensure that the small number of organisations still affected return to normal shortly.”
The NHS has warned the appointments at hospitals and GP may be slower than normal while the disruption caused by the ransomware attack subsides.
The update continued: “You can help the NHS cope by choosing the right service for your needs, and attending A&E only if it is essential.
“Apart from your hospital, there’s a range of other primary care services that can offer help, such as your GP, pharmacist, dentist or optician.”