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Hospitals to Receive £21M to Increase Cybersecurity

Hospitals responsible for treating patients from major incidents including terrorist attacks will receive £21m to beef up their cybersecurity in the wake of the WannaCry assault on NHS IT systems.

Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, has pledged the extra money to try to stop future malware attacks disrupting operations and appointments in key medical centres. The £21m will be shared between hospitals in the NHS’s network of 27 major trauma centres across England, such as those in London and Manchester which gave specialist care to people badly injured in the Westminster Bridge, Manchester Arena and London Bridge terror attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire.

The WannaCry attack began on 12 May and disabled computers in organisations across the world, including the NHS. Hackers, whom security services believe to be in North Korea, demanded money to unfreeze the computers. It prevented 48 hospital trusts in England and several GP surgeries in England and Scotland from accessing patient data and led to operations and appointments being cancelled and delayed.

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