Please note the following caveats around the data:
This data is based on potential COVID-19 symptoms reported by members of the public to NHS Pathways through NHS 111 or 999 and 111 online, and is not based on the outcomes of tests for coronavirus.
This is not a count of people. In 111 online, any user that starts and launches the COVID-19 assessment services is indicating they may have symptoms of coronavirus. They may have accessed the service multiple times with different symptoms.
The North East, West Midlands, South East Coast, South Central, and Isle of Wight Ambulance Services use NHS Pathways to triage calls to 999. The North West, Yorkshire, East Midlands, East of England, London, and South Western Ambulance Services use another system to triage calls to 999. Therefore, for CCGs in those areas, data here will not include most 999 calls related to COVID-19.
NHS Pathways data is sourced from a live system that is updated every 15 minutes. The data is extracted for the dashboard and open data files with as little delay as possible but there can be a time delay between the extraction processes meaning that the dashboard and open data files may have different totals.
Users of 111 online can change answers and reach multiple dispositions so the data indicates those users that have started an assessment and completed a final disposition.
Users enter their current location which may differ from their home postcode.
111 online updated the service on the 9th April so that under 16s are directed to use the normal 111 online triage. Due to small numbers data for 17 and 18 year olds has been suppressed and therefore does not appear in the data. This means that data for the 0-18 age band is no longer available in the 111 online data and is not included within the overall totals for 111 online.
111 online updated the service on the 23rd April so that there is now a separate covid assessment for 5 - 15 year olds. This means that from data for 23rd April 2020 onwards the 0-18 age band will be reinstated into the 111 online data and will cover ages from 5 to 18 years old.
Following the changes to the assessment of COVID-19 in NHS Pathways release 19.3.8 (on 18th May) those receiving a specific COVID-19 disposition will be reduced for the following reason:
At the start of the pandemic, work was undertaken at pace to create a COVID-specific pathway. This was intended to capture all patients with symptoms of fever or cough (as defined by Public Health England at that time) and reflected the high prevalence of coronavirus in the community.
Through the pandemic, as further clinical evidence has emerged and the prevalence of coronavirus has decreased, it has become possible to more fully integrate this COVID-specific approach with the main NHS Pathways system to ensure that the potential diagnosis of COVID-19 is more accurate.
The initial approach may have overestimated the number of potential coronavirus patients because the symptoms of coronavirus overlap with those of other infections not caused by coronavirus, such as colds and flu.
Release 19.3.8 of NHS Pathways integrated Covid-19 more fully into the main Pathways system. This release also included a change to the management of self-care dispositions. These changes coincided with a national decrease in call volumes related to Covid-19 in NHS 111.
Following detailed data analysis we have noted that these changes had an impact on the reporting of Covid-19 self-care dispositions. As a result an average of 500 Covid-19 self-care dispositions a day may have been omitted from our nationally reported daily data. An amendment has been made to better capture this data and was deployed to sites on the 26th June. We therefore anticipate that the number of Covid-19 self-care dispositions captured in this report will increase as this change is deployed.