The BIR applauds radiology and oncology teams who were faced with unprecedented challenges during the recent ransomware attack on NHS trusts across the UK. PACS teams, radiologists, radiographers, registrars and I.T. teams worked through the nights and weekend to begin isolating damage, restoring systems and ensuring the safety of patients was not compromised.
Alexander Peck, Communications Lead for the BIR Clinical Intelligence and Informatics Special Interest Group and Chartered I.T. Professional said: “As the threat began to hit hospital after hospital throughout Friday morning, Radiology Managers and Clinical Directors had to make tough decisions in a short space of time. Whilst this attack affected each hospital individually, in many cases those who acted quickly, closing non-acute services to concentrate resources and swiftly disconnecting modalities from infected networks, suffered the least damage. An approach of isolation meant minimal short-term disruption whilst defences were put in place to detect, contain and eliminate the malware.”
“Many in the wider media have asked why the NHS was so vulnerable. In reality it is simply not possible to constantly change or update software in the environments these systems operate in. High quality digital diagnostic equipment is now fully integrated into the hospital environment and is a key part of the clinical decision making process. As a result, the discussion on future prevention strategies is a top priority for PACS Teams and I.T. departments.”
Andy Rogers, President of the BIR, said “Hats off and a huge thank you to radiology teams, IT staff across the UK who worked ceaselessly to tackle this massive challenge. A big thank you should also be extended for the support of many of our corporate members who supported teams without question through the crisis by proactively communicating between sites and dedicating their own resources throughout the nights.”