Patients have been warned of disruption to services following a ‘focused and ongoing’ cyberattack on NHS Dumfries and Galloway.

The regional health board released a media ‘alert’ this morning after its systems were targeted by hackers – sparking a multi-agency response.

Health officials warned of a possible risk to a ‘significant quantity’ of patient and staff data following the breach.

A media alert read: “NHS Dumfries and Galloway has been the target of a focused and ongoing cyber attack.

“This prompted a swift response in line with our established protocols, working with partner agencies including Police Scotland, the National Cyber Security Centre and the Scottish Government.

“There may be some disruption to services as a result of this situation.

“During these incursions into our systems, there is a risk that hackers have been able to acquire a significant quantity of data.”

The health board said cybersecurity agencies are investigating what data may have been accessed, but it had ‘reason to believe that this could include patient-identifiable and staff-identifiable data’.

The alert continued: “Breach of confidential data is an incredibly serious matter. We are encouraging everyone, staff and public, to be on their guard for any attempt to access their systems or approaches from anyone claiming to be in possession of data relating to them.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We are aware of a cyberattack on NHS Dumfries & Galloway, which is believed to have taken place on Monday, 19 February.

“Enquiries are ongoing and officers are providing partners with support.”