Jeremy Hunt ‘ignored warning signs’ before cyber-attack hit NHS

Jeremy Hunt has been accused of ignoring “extensive warning signs” before an unprecedented cyber-attack that has plunged the NHS into chaos.

Hospitals across England and Scotland have been crippled by a global attack, in which around 45 NHS organisations were infiltrated by malicious software on Friday.

The shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, said concerns were repeatedly flagged about the NHS’s outdated computer systems, which left it vulnerable to the virus.

In a letter to Hunt on Saturday he wrote: “As secretary of state, I urge you to publicly outline the immediate steps you’ll be taking to significantly improve cyber-security in our NHS.

“The public has a right to know exactly what the government will do to ensure that such an attack is never repeated again.”

The attack, which is believed to have been based on technology stolen from the National Security Agency in the US, encrypted files on tends of thousands of computers around the world. A ransom note that appeared on users screens demanded money in exchange for accessing their PCs.

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