The National Health Service (NHS) across England has come under a major cyber attack from notorious hackers believed to have been done for ransom, causing unprecedented inconveniences to patients and hospital staff.

It is reported that IT failure caused by hacking has left several hospitals in the country with no access to computers and phone systems. Some hospitals have resorted to using pen and paper but the crisis has hit so bad that non-urgent operations had to be cancelled and patients asked not to come to A&E.

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Trusts and hospitals, including East and North Hertfordshire, North Cumbria, Morecambe Bay hospitals, Blackpool, and Barts Health in London are reportedly affected by the cyber attack.

The East and North Hertfordshire NHS trust said in a statement obtained by The Telegraph that it has "experienced a major IT problem, believed to be caused by a cyber attack." 

"The trust is postponing all non-urgent activity for today and is asking people not to come to A&E - please ring NHS111 for urgent medical advice or 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency," said the statement.

"To ensure that all back-up processes and procedures were put in place quickly, the trust declared a major internal incident to make sure that patients already in the trust's hospitals continued to receive the care they need."

NHS Digital has confirmed the cyber attack on several trusts and said that it could be ransomware.