HOSPITAL bosses have slammed a ‘cruel’ national e-mail hoax telling patients in the town they may have cancer.

Thousands of people across the country were sent the fake e-mail, believed to have come from Turkish and Indian ‘spammers’, in the last week claiming to be from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) with with the subject line ‘Important blood analysis result’.

Chris Horner, from the communications team at Warrington and Halton Hospitals, said: “Because so many people have blood tests as part of tests or routine care, the spam email was received by some of our patients who are waiting for results or have just had tests.

“We’ve been able to reassure them as NICE reacted very quickly to the issue.

“It’s a very malicious trick to play on people that looks like it comes from a creditable source.

“NICE’s advice has been to simply delete the email and not to open any links contained in it.”

The hoax has been reported to the police.