Minister hails Leeds-based NHS Digital’s response to cyber attack

Lord O'Shaughnessy and Rob Shaw.
Lord O'Shaughnessy and Rob Shaw.

Health Minister Lord O’Shaughnessy has praised staff at Leeds-based NHS Digital for their response to the WannaCry cyber attack.

Lord O’Shaughnessy spoke to members of the team who led the fightback against May’s attack during a visit to the city.

He told them: “I am very grateful for the way you responded and I think it’s important to pass on thanks to everyone involved.

“The way the system responded was fantastic, with you leading that effort.”

The Health Minister also visited NHS Digital’s Digital Delivery Centre, where Spine – the backbone of the IT infrastructure for health and social care in England – is based.

It links more than 23,000 healthcare IT systems in 20,500 organisations and deals with 400 million electronic messages a month.

Talking about the insight he had gained during his visit, Lord O’Shaughnessy said: “We need to think about how we can improve the service for the patient.

“This is the point I’ll take away with me and I’ll look at how we can do that – and trust the team at NHS Digital to come up with proposals, because they’re obviously doing a good job.”

NHS Digital deputy chief executive Rob Shaw said: “The message I took from the Health Minister was that as long as we make our decisions with due diligence, then he’ll support us.

“We can then make more of a difference to patients and citizens by getting out new code, services and features in a timely manner.”

NHS Digital employs around 2,000 people at its four sites in Leeds.

The Yorkshire Evening Post runs a regular Digital City column in partnership with Sky Betting & Gaming.

The platform aims to highlight the giant strides being made by a sector that boasts around 3,000 organisations in Leeds.