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Thousands of vulnerable Brits are ‘abandoned’ by one of the UK’s top mobility equipment firms after cyber crooks hacked the company | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker | #hacking | #aihp


  • A week after the cyber attack, NRS Healthcare, still has no working website 

Thousands of vulnerable Brits have been abandoned after one of the UK’s biggest mobility equipment firms was hacked on Good Friday.

A week after the cyber attack, NRS Healthcare, which delivers hospital beds, wheelchairs and almost 4,000 other aids to millions of Britons, still has no working phone lines, emails or website, leaving elderly and disabled people feeling desperate.

The firm – which is owned by private equity giant Graphite, run by wealthy Austrian venture capitalist Markus Golser – has won outsourced contracts for swathes of the UK’s local authorities, supplying bed rails, hoists and other equipment that’s vital for them to live independently.

But NRS’s entire business has been down since Good Friday – and it has failed to let its vulnerable customers know. 

Anyone calling its national phoneline is directed to an out-of-hours O2 mobile number which says it’s voicemail is ‘full’. 

Have YOU been affected by the fiasco? Email alesia.fiddler@mailonline.co.uk 

Nimmy Chowdhary (pictured), 59, is one of the many vulnerable people who have been impacted by the outage
She had a stroke eight years ago that left her paralysed on the right-hand side of her body and a vital part of her mobility bed broke seven weeks ago

Its website has said: ‘This site is down for maintenance. Please check back again soon’ since the Easter holiday. Emails bounce back.

Social media is full of desperate NRS service users. One wrote on the X platform: ‘Shame on u NRS health care after 7 missed delivery appointments in last 6 weeks… And no one has ever called back. Is this the way to treat the severely disabled.’

READ MORE: Fury as disabled wheelchair-users are forced to risk their lives by riding in the road because their pavements are so shoddy – as London council is blasted for the walkway’s shocking state 

Another wrote: ‘I’ve spent the last three days trying to get hold of you spending hours on hold to then be cut off. 

‘My delivery was meant to be four days ago and today your office is closed?’ 

Some patients are stranded in their homes due to lack of equipment: ‘I’ve tried calling NRS today as my father’s floor bed has a fault and we cannot raise it. 

‘The poor carers are having to work at an impossibly low height.’

Another said: ‘Thank you @NRSHealthcare for totally wasting my day, through the engineer booked to check my mum’s medical bed not turning up.’

One customer wrote: ‘My recently bereaved Dad waited in for 12 hours yesterday and nobody turned up as arranged.’

‘How are NHS staff managing to line up equipment for patients for discharge? The service is breathtakingly abysmal,’ asks another. ‘It’s likely that NRS’s failures are causing blockages in hospital discharges, if patients do not have vital equipment delivered to their homes.’

Nimmy Chowdhary, 59, had a stroke eight years ago that left her paralysed on the right-hand side of her body.

Since a vital part of her mobility bed broke seven weeks ago, she has spent over 100 hours trying to get a replacement from NRS, most of those during the last week when the company has been unobtainable.

The former business owner, who lives in Barnet but had to give up her company after her stroke, needs a circulating mattress to relieve the pressure on the paralysed side of her body, but the pump developed a fault.

A week after a cyber attack, NRS Healthcare, which delivers hospital beds, wheelchairs and almost 4,000 other aids to millions of Britons, still has no working phone lines, emails or website, leaving elderly and disabled people feeling desperate
Furious family members took to social media to vent their anger following the fiasco

‘My disabled leg immediately began to swell up,’ Nimmy said. ‘Initially, NRS sent an engineer – but he said he couldn’t fix it and needed a new bed Since then, I’ve had five weeks of NRS demanding more admin and being passed around various departments.

‘I’ve had to battle with them to cut down the all-day waiting period to a 1.5 hour slot, as I need two carers to be here at the same time to transfer me in and out of the bed.’

Nimmy’s new bed was not delivered when it was supposed to on Tuesday, after Easter Monday. 

She said: ‘Since then, I have been phoning and phoning and phoning. My foot has doubled in size width-ways, it’s like a potato, I have to sleep with 5 cushions underneath it to keep it from bursting. 

‘I’ve phoned NRS hundreds of times – five times an hour every day, but every time it says no service.’

The district nurse has told Nimmy her leg is now putting her health in danger, and called in emergency physiotherapists.

‘I now can’t put my foot down because it’s so swollen. Only the correct bed will help but NRS won’t bring it. In total I’ve spent over 100 hours trying to deal with NRS – and I’m someone who has the energy to fight this system – many people more vulnerable than me do not.

‘Surely NRS should have a back-up system where you can at least find out what’s happening. Can you give me any justification for them not answering the phone?’

Staff at hospitals and hospices have also reported battles getting hold of NRS.

A spokesman for North London Hospice, which uses NRS via its contract with Barnet council, said: ‘We have been working closely with colleagues at NRS Healthcare to ensure that our patients receive the equipment and support that they need and to minimise the risk of any disruption to them. 

‘We will closely monitor the situation and continue to focus on providing excellent patient care.’

Nimmy’s new bed was not delivered when it was supposed to on Tuesday, after Easter Monday. (Stock Image)

Graphite Capital is best known for investing in posh eateries – it owns meat restaurant Hawksmoor, where a steak costs £45 and has owned a chunk of the Ivy Group – but has spread its tentacles into a fostering business, care homes, and children’s homes.

NRS – whose slogan is ‘putting people first’ – initially failed to inform the Information Commissioner’s Office about its data hack, but has since done so. 

Smaller rival Medequip was also affected by a cyber hack at the same time.

A spokesman for NRS said: ‘NRS Healthcare confirms that it is dealing with a cyber security incident. Upon discovery, we swiftly implemented our business continuity plan, including taking systems offline and appointing external experts to help us investigate what has happened and restore our systems securely.

‘Some of our services (including our phone lines) are temporarily unavailable, and our specialist teams are working around the clock to restore functionality safely. 

‘Thanks to manual workarounds, we are now delivering and collecting equipment for our service users within the community, albeit with some delays.

‘We apologise to everyone affected and thank them for their patience and understanding. All relevant authorities have been informed.’

Have YOU been affected by the fiasco? Email alesia.fiddler@mailonline.co.uk 

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