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Computer virus checks on hospital ends hacker fears

PUBLISHED: 13:44 31 January 2009 | UPDATED: 14:00 05 October 2010

THE computer infection which caused havoc across the Royal London Hospital for six days was entirely avoidable according to a recent review. An investigation into the East London hospital,carried out by IT specialists, found the bug which infected th

THE computer infection which caused havoc across the Royal London Hospital for six days was "entirely avoidable" according to a recent review.

An investigation into the East London hospital,carried out by IT specialists, found the bug which infected the computer systems across Barts and the London Trust's three hospitals last November was accidental with "no malicious intent".

Instead the review found that the trust's virus protection has not reached all the computers and the anti-virus software was configured incorrectly on some of them, causing "substantive failure" in the system.

Patients were turned away when the bug hit the Royal London, the London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green and St Bartholomew's and staff had to resort to pen and paper.

More than 70 patients had to go to nearby hospitals while ambulances were diverted to neighbouring A&E to ensure that seriously ill patients did not suffer as a result of the slower manual systems being used.

The review, which was commissioned by the trust to find out how and why the virus was able to infiltrate the system, was discussed by board members earlier this month and also concluded that patients' safety was not compromised.


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