Welsh NHS back online after computer failure

The problem was related to the national firewall and was not a cyber security incident

The Welsh NHS computer system has been reinstated after a huge outage that meant surgeries and hospitals were unable to access patient records.

Consultants and GPS reported widespread issues, including the inability to pull of information referring to patient blood test and X-ray results. The issue was reportedly due to national firewalls and is now being investigated by the relevant authorities.

The government and National Cyber Security Centre said the problem wasn't security-related and didn't have any long-lasting effects. The data is now available on the NHS Wales computer system and it's not expected to cause any further problems.

"The NHS Wales Informatics Service have confirmed that all systems are now back although there may be a backlog affecting some areas," the DHSS Wales said on Twitter. "They have assured us that there were no data security issues."

However, there was a total meltdown while the system was unavailable, many GPs and medical professionals said. The British Medical Association (BMA) in Wales revealed at least 50% of all practices in the country were affected at one point and doctors described the situation as "chaos."

Surgery and hospital staff weren't even able to access patient phone numbers to cancel appointments, it was reported. This meant patients were turning up to receive test results, which GPs weren't able to offer.

The outage was "incredibly concerning, especially in the aftermath of last year's ransomware attack on the NHS," said the Welsh Assembly's opposition health spokesman Angela Burns. "The focus must now be on supporting these centres to manage this incident swiftly so that patient data is secure and that care is not adversely affected."

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