London: Britain's state-run National Health Service (NHS) was hit by an apparent large-scale cyber attack on Friday, resulting in a major IT system failure.
A number of hospitals in London, Blackburn, Nottingham, Cumbria and Hertfordshire have been affected, resulting in many doctors resorting to use of pen and paper as phone and IT systems were shut down.
Following the cyber attack, hospitals cancelled appointments and turned away patients, asking them to come only if it was an emergency.
NHS England said they are "aware of the issue and are looking into it".
Among those affected is the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which said it is experiencing problems with computers and phone systems.
It has postponed all non-urgent activity and is asking people not to come to A&E at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage.
"A number of NHS organisations have reported to NHS Digital that they have been affected by a ransomware attack," the public health service said in a statement.
IT specialists are working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
Updated Date: May 12, 2017 21:45 PM