Skip to the content

NHS 111 data to be used in coronavirus response


Mark Say Managing Editor

Get UKAuthority News


The NHS is reportedly working with a number of technology companies on a data system to help manage resources in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

A report by the BBC says that Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to sign off a project to use data from the NHS 111 service in allocating resources.

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) declined to comment on the grounds the story came from a leak, and as yet it is not clear when the system could become operational. But the report says that Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, data analysis platform provider Palantir and AI and machine learning specialist Faculty are involved in the initiative.

It is planned that all of the data would be anonymised.

The objective is to provide the NHS with interactive dashboards on subjects such as what ventilators are being used and where, levels of staff sickness, patient occupancy of hospital beds, the capacity of A&E departments and the length of stays of coronavirus patients.

It is aimed at giving decision-makers a better understanding of how the virus is spreading so they can target resources at emerging hotspots and divert patients to places best able to care for them.

Short and long term

A source told the BBC the short term aim was to improve situational awareness, but in the long term there is scope for more dynamic scenario planning.

Microsoft has reportedly built a major data store on its Azure platform to support the project, AWS is providing cloud computing resources and Palantir is providing its Foundry software to pull the data together.

Earlier this month Faculty said it had worked with NHSX – the DHSC policy unit for digital tech in healthcare – in setting up its new AI Lab to promote the use of the technology in the health service.

Image by, CC BY 2.0

Register For Alerts

Keep informed - Get the latest news about the use of technology, digital & data for the public good in your inbox from UKAuthority.