Critical incident declared as London hospitals cancel operations due to 'cyber attack'

4 June 2024, 12:42 | Updated: 4 June 2024, 16:03

  • Are you affected by this? Contact our news desk at
Ambulances lined up outside London's Kings College Hospital A&E (file image)
Ambulances lined up outside London's Kings College Hospital A&E (file image). Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Surgeries at London hospitals have been cancelled due to a suspected cyber attack.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

A critical incident has been declared and Guy’s and St Thomas’ and Kings College hospital have cancelled operations.

Staff were unable to access an IT system needed for blood transfusions, LBC understands.

The IT hack affects the systems used at the Royal Brompton, heart and lung specialist Harefield Hospital, Guy's, St Thomas' & King's College hospitals.

Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals have been forced to cancel all transplant surgery. Nearby hospitals in London are accepting extra patients.

Read more: Three newborn babies who were found dumped in parks in London over seven years belong to the same parents

Read more: Man plucked to safety from crane as fire rages at building site in Canning Town in east London

The CEO of Guy’s and St Thomas’ wrote to stage saying there was a ‘critical incident’ affected pathology services.

“This is having a major impact on the delivery of our services, with blood transfusions being particularly affected.

In a statement Mark Dollar, Synnovis CEO, said: "On Monday June 3, Synnovis – a partnership between two London-based hospital Trusts and SYNLAB - was the victim of a ransomware cyberattack. This has affected all Synnovis IT systems, resulting in interruptions to many of our pathology services.

"It is still early days and we are trying to understand exactly what has happened. A taskforce of IT experts from Synnovis and the NHS is working to fully assess the impact this has had, and to take the appropriate action needed. We are working closely with NHS Trust partners to minimise the impact on patients and other service users.

"Regrettably this is affecting patients, with some activity already cancelled or redirected to other providers as urgent work is prioritised. We are incredibly sorry for the inconvenience and upset this is causing to patients, service users and anyone else affected. We are doing our best to minimise the impact and will stay in touch with local NHS services to keep people up to date with developments.

"We take cybersecurity very seriously at Synnovis and have invested heavily in ensuring our IT arrangements are as safe as they possibly can be. This is a harsh reminder that this sort of attack can happen to anyone at any time and that, dispiritingly, the individuals behind it have no scruples about who their actions might affect.

"The incident is being reported to law enforcement and the Information Commissioner, and we are working with the National Cyber Security Centre and the Cyber Operations Team. We will share further updates as we know more, but regret that we are unable to respond to individual queries from the media at this time – thank you for your understanding."

“Some activity has already been cancelled or redirected to other providers at short notice as we prioritise the clinical work that we are able to safely carry out.”

Clinical staff were told that “our pathology partner Synnovis experienced a major IT incident earlier today.”

The husband of a patient asked yesterday: "My wife has a phlebotomy appointment at 7.40am for gestational diabetes checks amongst other things.

"She received a text at 7pm this evening saying phlebotomy services are cancelled until further notice. What can she do? Is the appt still taking place? Really poor comms."

A spokesman for King's College Hospital in London confirmed it was affected by the cyber attack.

The incident is thought to have occurred on Monday, meaning some departments could not connect to their main server. In a letter to staff, King's said the "major IT incident" was having a major impact on the delivery of services, with blood transfusions particularly affected.

Some procedures have been cancelled or redirected to other NHS providers, it said.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Prince Louis steals the show as he dances along to bagpipes at Trooping the Colour

Prince Louis steals the show as he dances along to bagpipes at Trooping the Colour

Coventry's Radford Road, where the schoolboy was killed

Schoolboy killed in hit and run as police urgently look for driver

Police rammed the cow

Shock as police ram escaped cow on the street, as officers say it 'was hurt while being moved to safety'


Angela Rayner condemns 'intimidation' of Labour's Rosie Duffield after she cancels hustings amid 'trolling and spite'

Kate and the royals came out on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the flypast

Kate joins King Charles and other royals on Buckingham Palace balcony for RAF flypast after Trooping the Colour

Ben Habib has hit back at suggestions Nigel Farage could join the Conservative party

Reform deputy hits back at suggestion Nigel Farage could join Tories, after leader tells LBC he could lead merged party

Olympic rings on the Eiffel Tower in Paris

IOC gives 14 Russians and 11 Belarusians neutral status for Paris Olympics

The ride got stuck upside down

Horrifying moment people get stuck upside down on theme park ride, as dozens have to be rescued

David Cameron and Nigel Farage

David Cameron says Nigel Farage is trying to destroy the Conservative Party through Reform UK

Kevin Campbell has died

Arsenal and Everton footballer Kevin Campbell dies aged 54

Kate, Charlotte, Louis, Charles and Camilla seen at the Trooping the Colour ceremony

Kate seen for first time in public since cancer diagnosis at Trooping the Colour, as King receives salute

Millwall's Matija Sarkic died

Millwall goalkeeper Matija Sarkic dies aged 26, as club 'completely devastated'

Muslim pilgrims standing at the top of the rocky hill known as the Mountain of Mercy

Muslim pilgrims converge at Mount Arafat for worship as Hajj reaches its peak

Bob Bell confronted the robber

'Hero' shop worker jumps in to grab gun-toting robber threatening colleague, as mother-in-law praises 'lovely boy'

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, arrives at Zurich airport in Switzerland

World leaders to meet at Swiss resort on possible Ukraine peace roadmap

David Cameron has warned that Nigel Farage is trying to destroy the Conservative party

General Election LIVE: Cameron warns Farage is 'trying to destroy the Conservatives', as Labour tackles NHS