For immediate release

Monday 15 May 2017


Cyber attack concern for rural GPs and practices


The Rural Services Network – England's largest partnership of rural service providers – has voiced concern at the impact of cyber-attacks on doctors' surgeries that serve rural communities.

It follows the 'ransomware' cyber-attack which left NHS trusts across the UK without access to IT facilities and patients records.

RSN chief executive Graham Biggs said: "This is an extremely worrying situation for rural patients and for small rural practices which operate on a limited budget."

Much of the media attention had focused on the impact of the cyberattack on larger hospitals, said Mr Biggs.

But it was important to remember that smaller surgeries had also been affected – including in sparsely populated rural areas.

While some practices were not directly attacked by the cyber-attack, some network connections to data servers and the Internet were affected.

This left GP practices unable to access any patient data – prompting pleas for patients to attend surgery only if their need is urgent.

Mr Biggs said: "It is vital that NHS trusts invest adequately in cyber security as they seek to protect themselves against future attacks."


Media contact:

Graham Biggs

Rural Services Network

T: 01588 674 922

M: 07966 790197

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





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