THE South Western Ambulance Service has been targeted in a cyber attack.

The ambulance service’s electronic patient record system supplier Ortivus was targeted in an attack on the evening July 18.

The Swedish medical tech firm said the hack had affected some ‘UK customer systems within our hosted datacenter environment’.

One of those affected was the South Western Ambulance Service, which serves Bournemouth and Poole.

It is understood that there was a minimal impact on the ambulance service’s operations, with no impact on 999 calls.

There may be a slight delay at handover between the ambulance and the hospital, as the service had to use old systems, using pencil and paper, the Echo understands.

NHS England is investigating alongside officers from the National Crime Agency.

An NHS spokesperson said: “We are aware of an incident affecting a small number of ambulance services.

“Our Cyber Security Operations Centre is working with affected organisations to investigate, alongside law enforcement colleagues, and supporting suppliers as they work to reconnect the system.”

A spokesperson from the National Crime Agency added: “We are aware of an incident impacting a supplier used by South West, South Central & Isle Of Wight Ambulance Services trusts.

"National Crime Agency officers are leading an investigation and supporting the trusts, working alongside partners in the NCSC.”

In a statement, Ortivus said electronic patient records are currently ‘unavailable’, with services reverting to ‘manual systems’.

“No patients have been directly affected,” the company said. “No other systems have been attacked and no customers outside of those in the hosted datacenter have been affected.

“Ortivus are currently working in close collaboration with the affected customers to restore the systems and recover data. The affected customers are the ones using MobiMed ePR, electronic patient record systems in a hosted environment.”

It added: “The organization behind the cyber-attack is not known at this stage and the incident has been reported to the authorities as a crime.”