RESIDENTS with loved ones stuck in hospital have been urged not to contact them after the shocking global cyber attack wiped out part of Royal Berkshire Hospital's phone system.

Hundreds of NHS computers were struck by a virus saw operations cancelled and appointments delayed nationwide.

The majority of RBH's services ran as normal across the weekend, however some patients faced delays.

Technicians are today (Monday) continuing to fix the problem, but hospital bosses warned the site's phone lines are still facing major problems.

It means people trying to call friends and family members at the Craven Road site can not get through.

A spokesman said: "Services have continued to operate as normal today at The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, although a small number of patients may have experienced some delays, for which the Trust apologises.

"Parts of the Trust’s telephone system are still affected, although contingency lines have been installed, but we continue to ask that patients ring the main switchboard number 0118 322 5111 if they have any urgent queries regarding their care or about imminent appointments for the next few days. 

"We would like to thank everyone for their continued support and patience as the Trust continues to work on the recovery required to our digital systems."

Scores of NHS organisations had files locked by the 'Wanna Decryptor' malware and the hacker demanded a $300 ransom for each computer for them to be returned.

The virus first struck on Friday May 12 and caused havoc for hospitals across the weekend.

Mary Sherry, chief operating officer at RBH, added: "I would like to thank all our IT, clinical and admin staff as well as our on-call teams involved. They did a fantastic job of handling the situation and maintaining an almost normal services throughout, and keeping everyone up to date. I’d also like to thank those who volunteered to come in and support ward and admin staff. It was appreciated.

“The good news for our patients is that we continued to run planned appointments over the weekend and maintain emergency services, despite the challenging situation.

“We continue to assess systems to understand the full impact of the cyber attack and follow through on all aspects of the recovery required to our digital systems.”