IT systems have returned to normal after a malware attack which affected a “small number of systems” at NHS Lanarkshire Health Board last Friday (25 August).

Chief executive Calum Campbell said the health board quickly identified the source of the malware and investigations are now ongoing with their IT security providers as to how it infiltrated their network.

It has been identified as the ransomware Bitpaymer. “Following analysis of the malware, our security providers issued an updated signature so that this variant can now be detected and blocked”, Campbell said.

He said staff worked hard to minimise the impact on patients and their contingency plans ensured they were able to continue to deliver services while the IT issues were being resolved.

“A small number of systems were affected with the majority restored over the weekend and the remainder on Monday (28 August 2017)”, he said.

A statement issued by NHS Lanarkshire explained that the health board’s security software and systems “were up-to-date with the latest signature files, but as this was a new malware variant the latest security software was unable to detect it”.

Campbell said that a small number of procedures and appointments were cancelled due to the incident and extended his apologies to anyone affected by the disruption.

“We immediately started work to reappoint patients to the earliest possible appointments.”

The latest attack at NHS Lanarkshire, which runs three acute hospitals as well as a variety of community services, comes just a few months after it was affected by the global WannaCry attack. A fifth of NHS trusts were hit by that unprecented incident.