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Coronavirus latest updates

The latest updates in relation to the response of NHS Digital to coronavirus (COVID-19).


NHS Digital release shielded patient list open data

NHS Digital have released open data about the coronavirus (COVID-19) shielded patient list in England.

This data shows how many shielded patients there are, split by age, gender, and area.

The open data is available as an interactive dashboard, and as data files.

  • Disease spread statistics

Shielded patient list records added to GP systems

During the week commencing 4 May, flags were added in GP systems to show the patients who are identified on the national shielded patient list.

This comprised 3 weeks of additions by the national algorithm and hospitals, completing the initial population of the list. There should now be incremental updates to the list, with GP systems populating weekly.

The Free Text of each SPL flag will describe why it is added and who by. For further information on why hospitals have added a flag, please contact the Trust

  • News or guidelines update

GPs kept informed of coronavirus triage

When patients go through the NHS 111 COVID-19 Clinical Assessment Service (CCAS), their GP will now receive a structured message.

This message will be added to their GP patient record, alerting the practice.

This functionality is available in the three main GP practice software suppliers - TPP, EMIS and Vision.

  • News or guidelines update

New COVID-19 codes added to summary care record

New COVID 19 SNOMED codes are being added to the Summary Care Record additional Information dataset to capture suspected or confirmed COVID 19 status from GP systems. GPs have been instructed to record whether a patient is assumed to have had COVID 19, whether a patient has been tested, and whether the patient is at risk of medical complications should they contract the virus.

  • News or guidelines update

NHS App and electronic presecription service update

Users of the NHS App are now able to access the electronic prescription service to enable patients to change the pharmacy to which their medication is usually sent.

Over 14,000 patients have used the functionality since launch 3 April. The outbreak created an urgent need for patients to be able to change their nomination if their pharmacy was closed

  • News or guidelines update


NHS staff can now see more information about patients

NHS staff have been given access to additional information about patients for the duration of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Agreement was reached to automatically include additional information from the GP record in the Summary Care Record where patients have not opted out; will enable clinicians and authorised staff in secondary care, pharmacy and ambulances access to extended data for ~40 50m patients including long term conditions, care plan information and other factors at the point of care.

The change from an explicit “opt in” consent to assumed consent for all citizens other than those who have dissented went live 27 April and will be in place for the duration of the outbreak. Bulk uploads of data from GP Record to SCR commenced 27 April and will take some time to complete due to volumes

  • News or guidelines update

Integration of 3rd party triage to NHS App

Roll-out has been completed for around one thousand practices as at 27 April and integration for all 2.5k eConsult practices in England to complete by 1 May. Patients at practices using eConsult will now be able to submit symptoms or requests for support through the NHS App on a mobile device and receive appropriate triage or referral prior to a consultation, making best use of strained clinical capacity

  • News or guidelines update

National data sharing agreement reached for GP Connect

Agreement was reached on 24 April for a National Data Sharing Agreement for GP Connect to be in place for the duration of the outbreak.

This agreement is supported by the British Medical Association, Royal College of GPs, the Information Commissioner, and the National Data Guardian.

It means that meaning patient records can now be accessed by any licensed system (previously access was restricted to providers with local, point to point data sharing agreements). This enables a patient’s records to be accessed wherever they present, including at other practices or 111 COVID 19 Clinical Assessment Service (CCAS) and GPs can see records of patients outside their practice if needing to work remotely. Allows safer and more timely care, and the flexibility to manage strained system capacity.

  • News or guidelines update

111 online clinical algorithm update

Paediatric clinical algorithm updated on 23 April in response to concerns that parents are not seeking emergency care for children even when needed (e.g. fever or other potentially dangerous symptoms). Children aged 5-16 are now triaged through the non-COVID pathway or parents directed to ring 111 to ensure appropriate medical attention is sought

  • News or guidelines update

New 'Health-at-home' pges launch on the NHS website

New “Health-at-Home” pages launched on 9 April to support NHSX social media campaign reached over 13,000 visits and 500 video views during the campaign between 9 April and 14 April. The content encourages use of online health services as part of the system response. The landing page provided information about how to remotely contact GPs (including video guidance), order repeat prescriptions, manage long-term conditions and maintain wellbeing; directed patients to relevant information and services.

  • Disease prevention information