PROBLEMS with IT systems at the NHS 111 service have been caused by a national cyber attack across the entire NHS computer system.

The outage has reportedly affected services across the system including patient referrals, out-of-hours appointment bookings, digital prescriptions, and ambulances being dispatched.

Patients contacting NHS 111 are being warned of delays, as health professionals are having to write everything by hand, including prescriptions and patient notes.

Health secretary Steve Barclay said on Saturday that he was being briefed on the incident and that NHS England had put in “contingency plans” in the areas affected.

The attack was identified at 7am on Thursday, August 4 but is yet to be resolved.

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A spokesperson for NHS said that the issue is due to an “external supplier” called Advanced.

They added: “While Advanced work to resolve their software problems, thanks to our hardworking staff, NHS 111 services remain available for patients who are unwell, although some people will face longer waits than usual.

“Patients may be able to find the information they need faster through 111 online, but as ever if it is an emergency, please call 999.”

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