The health and social care system is facing significant pressures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Health and care information is essential to deliver care to individuals, to support health, social care and other public services and to protect public health. Information will also be vital in researching, monitoring, tracking and managing the coronavirus outbreak. Accurate and up to date data is also essential in managing the coronavirus outbreak.
To support the response to the outbreak, NHS Digital has been legally directed to collect and analyse healthcare information about patients from their GP record for the duration of the coronavirus emergency period. The British Medical Association, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the National Data Guardian are all supportive of this approach.
NHS Digital will analyse the data and securely and lawfully share data with other appropriate organisations described below for coronavirus response purposes only. These purposes include:
- carrying out vital research into treatments and vaccines for the virus, including clinical trials
- identifying coronavirus trends and risks to public health
- diagnosing and monitoring the effects of coronavirus
- controlling and helping to prevent the spread of the virus
- planning and providing health, social care and other public services in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
- helping clinicians, scientists, public health bodies and the government to provide guidance and develop policies to respond to the outbreak
- monitoring and managing the outbreak