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DHSC launches coronavirus status checker


Mark Say Managing Editor

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A coronavirus status checker has been launched by Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) to help build up additional data on the pandemic.

The department has asked people with potential symptoms of the coronavirus to complete the checker by answering a short series of questions on their experience.

It is open to anyone in the UK to use on the NHS website and in its initial phase the NHS is particularly keen for anyone who thinks they may be displaying potential symptoms, however mild, to complete it.

The questions cover: why they are staying at home; choosing from a series of options to describe how they are feeling; whether they have any other health problems; date of birth; postcode; and how many people are living in their home.

The DHSC said the information gathered will help the NHS to plan its response to the outbreak, indicating when and where more resources like oxygen, ventilators and additional staff might be needed.


It is also aimed at providing insights into the development and progression of the virus across the country, with the information forming part of a core national Covid-19 dataset held by NHS England.

Users are told at the beginning and the end of the survey that it is not a triage or clinical advice tool, and that they should visit 111 online for medical advice about their symptoms.

The service is hosted on the NHS website and is available to access openly, with links directly from the NHS 111 online coronavirus service and NHS coronavirus pages.

The initiative is a collaboration between NHS England, NHSX, NHS Digital and Public Health England, and will be made available to the health services under devolved administrations.

Hugely valuable

Professor Keith Willett, strategic incident director NHS England, said: “We know large volumes of people are visiting NHS 111 online each day, reporting potential coronavirus symptoms and being advised to self-isolate, and it will be hugely valuable for the NHS if we can learn more about these people and their experiences.

“By taking a few moments to answer these questions, you can play your part in helping the NHS put its resources in the right places, at the right time, to save lives.”

The DHSC said that creators of a number of independent apps and websites which have already launched to collect similar data have agreed to work openly with the NHS and align their products and data as part of the national effort.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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