Russian hackers ‘publish NHS patients’ names, dates of birth, NHS numbers & blood test results’ online in shock breach

RUSSIAN hackers have allegedly published NHS patients’ names, dates of birth and personal blood test data from a shocking cyber attack.

Synnovis, a contracted IT firm which serves NHS pathology labs, was the victim of a cyber hack – understood to be carried out by Russian group Qilinon – on June 3.

Synnovis, a pathology laboratory which processes blood tests for NHS organisations, was the victim of a cyber attack on June 3


Synnovis, a pathology laboratory which processes blood tests for NHS organisations, was the victim of a cyber attack on June 3Credit: Getty

Hundreds of operations and appointments are still being delayed weeks after the “critical incident” unfolded.

Several hospitals were forced to cancel major surgeries and blood transfusions.

NHS England is now aware that the cyber criminal group published data last night which they claim belongs to Synnovis.

They allege it was stolen as part of this attack.

As reported by the BBC, the cyber criminal group shared almost 400GB of data.

This included patient names, dates of birth, NHS numbers and descriptions of blood tests.

An NHS England spokesperson said: “NHS England has been made aware that the cyber criminal group published data last night which they are claiming belongs to Synnovis and was stolen as part of this attack.

“We understand that people may be concerned by this and we are continuing to work with Synnovis, the National Cyber Security Centre and other partners to determine the content of the published files as quickly as possible.

“This includes whether it is data extracted from the Synnovis system, and if so whether it relates to NHS patients.

“As more information becomes available through Synnovis’ full investigation, the NHS will continue to update patients and the public.”

It comes after reports patients in London were being told they may have to wait weeks for appointments – including blood transfusions – after the hack.

London‘s Guy’s, St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospitals are said to have been impacted.

Royal Brompton and Harefield are also understood to have cancelled transplant surgeries. 

Contracted IT firm Synnovis, which serves NHS pathology labs, confirmed in an email to staff that it had been hit.

It apologised for the disruptions caused and said it was quickly working to find a solution.

What is a blood transfusion?

The NHS says a blood transfusion is when you’re given blood from someone else (a donor). It’s a very safe procedure that can be lifesaving.

Why it’s done

A blood transfusion may be needed if you have a shortage of red blood cells.

This may be because your body’s not making enough red blood cells or because you have lost blood.

For example, you may need a blood transfusion if you have:

A blood transfusion can replace blood you have lost, or just replace the liquid or cells found in blood (such as red blood cells, plasma or cells called platelets).

Ask your doctor or nurse why they think you might need a transfusion if you’re not sure.

What happens

Before having a blood transfusion, the procedure will be explained to you and you’ll be asked to sign a consent form.

A sample of your blood will also be taken to check your blood group.

You’ll only be given blood that’s safe for someone with your blood group.

During a blood transfusion:

  1. You sit or lie down in a chair or bed.
  2. A needle is inserted into a vein in your arm or hand.
  3. The needle is connected to a tube and a bag of blood.
  4. The blood runs through the tube into your vein.

It can take up to 4 hours to receive 1 bag of blood, but it’s usually quicker than this.

You can normally go home soon after, unless you’re seriously unwell or need a lot of blood.

How you might feel during and after

You might feel a sharp prick when the needle is first inserted into your vein, but you should not feel anything during the transfusion.

You’ll be checked regularly while receiving the blood. Tell a member of staff if you feel unwell or uncomfortable.

Some people develop a temperature, chills or a rash. This is usually treated with paracetamol or by slowing down the transfusion.

Your arm or hand may ache and have a bruise for a few days after.

Contact a GP if you feel unwell within 24 hours of having a blood transfusion, especially if you have difficulty breathing or pain in your chest or back.


Blood transfusions are common and very safe procedures.

All donor blood is checked before it’s used to make sure it does not contain serious infections such as hepatitis or HIV.

There’s a very small risk of complications, such as:

  • an allergic reaction to the donor blood
  • a problem with your heart, lungs or immune system (the body’s defence against illness and infection)

The risks will be explained before having a transfusion, unless this is not possible – for example, if you need an emergency transfusion.

Speak to your doctor or nurse if you have any concerns.


A blood transfusion will only be recommended if it’s needed and other treatments will not help.

If it’s possible that you’ll need a transfusion (for example, if you’re due to have surgery or you have anaemia), you may sometimes be given medicine to:

  • lower your risk of bleeding, such as tranexamic acid
  • boost your number of red blood cells, such as iron tablets or injections

These can reduce your chances of needing a blood transfusion.

The IT firm did however say previously it was unsure of all the details of the attack, or how long it would impact patients.

A spokesperson for NHS England London said previously : “On Monday 3 June Synnovis, a provider of lab services, was the victim of a ransomware cyber attack.

“This is having a significant impact on the delivery of services at Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts and primary care services in south east London and we apologise for the inconvenience this is causing to patients and their families.

Who are Russian cyber gang Qilin?

QILIN are a group of Russian cyber criminals.

  • It’s reported that they’re who are behind the cyber attack that affected a number of major London hospitals and led to huge delays and a raft of cancelled operations.
  • They’re notorious for their hits on firms and government bodies around the world.
  • In the past they’ve managed to get hold of recordings from court hearings in the Australian state of Victoria.
  • They also owned up to attacking China-based car company Yanfeng Automotive Interiors in 2023.
  • They stole files including technical data sheets, putting the brakes on production at the company’s plants in the US.
  • In March they hacked into the computer systems at Big Issue Group, who are the publishers of the well-known UK magazine sold by homeless people.

What did Russian cybercriminals Qilin do?

  • Qilin attack computer systems of companies with something called ransomware.
  • This is where hackers try to bring down systems by blocking users from getting onto them.
  • Once they’ve done it, they’ll then demand huge sums of money to unlock the files and let the company access them again.
  • The NHS confirmed it was a ransomware attack that hit several London hospitals on Monday, June 3rd 2024.
  • It’s thought the UK Government won’t give in to ransom demands from hackers.

“Emergency care continues to be available, so patients should access services in the normal way by dialling 999 in an emergency and otherwise using 111, and patients should continue to attend appointments unless they are told otherwise.

“We will continue to provide updates for local patients and the public about the impact on services and how they can continue to get the care they need.

“We are working urgently to fully understand the impact of the incident with the support of the government’s National Cyber Security Centre and our Cyber Operations team.”


An email was sent out by IT firm Synnovis after the cyber attack which said: “This is having a major impact on the delivery of our services, with blood transfusions being particularly affected.

“Some activity has already been cancelled or redirected to other providers at short notice as we prioritise the clinical work that we are able to safely carry out.”


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.