Operations cancelled as Jeremy Hunt is accused of ignoring warnings

David Wrigley of panel that drew up guidelines on cybersecurity says ministers failed to heed advice last summer

Operations and hospital clinic appointments due to take place on Tuesday have been cancelled amid claims that ministers ignored warnings last year that the NHS could be at risk from cyber-attacks like the ongoing ransomware causing havoc in 150 countries.

Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, said an anticipated second wave of malware attacks in Britain, that experts had feared might strike on Monday, did not materialise.

But he had to defend the government’s record on NHS cybersecurity after it emerged that the health service regulator, the Care Quality Commission, and the national data guardian, Dame Fiona Caldicott, warned last July that the threat of such attacks “has not only put patient information at risk of loss or compromise but also jeopardises access to critical patient record systems by clinicians”.

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