The Deputy Medical Officer, Professor Jonathan Van Tam commissioned a clinical expert group led by Professor Ian McInnes to deliver a set clinical condition identifying those people most at risk of developing the severe effects of COVID-19 infection within the current vaccinated population of the UK.
NHS England developed the clinical policy for the neutralising monoclonal antibodies and antivirals treatments for COVID-19, and commissioned NHS Digital to create a digital rule logic, based on the clinical policy to identify people within England, with a positive COVID-19 PCR or Lateral Flow test, who are at most risk of developing severe complications of COVID-19 infection, to enable these people to receive treatment at early disease stage in the community, reducing the risk of worsening disease and hospital admission.
Centrally held patient data was used to identify people who may be at high risk of COVID-19 complications, as they may not be able to gain the full benefit from immunisation, due to an inability to launch a full immune response to COVID-19 vaccination. The cohorting rule logic will enable people at risk of severe complications due to COVID-19 infection to be treated at an early disease stage in the community, reducing the risk of worsening disease and hospital admission.
Due to the nature of the pandemic and the need for speed in delivering anti-viral treatment as quickly as possible to the population of England, the software build was started before the set of clinical conditions had been finalised. Where NHS Digital were unable to predict a clinical condition would be included, the cohorting rules have yet to be developed and non-digital solutions are being used. New cohorting rules are being developed to cover these areas and will be released into live as soon as possible.
Generally, an inclusive approach has been used, where nuanced data is not available for people to be included, or excluded for treatment at the point of telephone clinical triage.