NHS asks people to share their coronavirus symptoms to help others Image by Philip Steury AdobeStock_332281171.jpg

Coronavirus Status Checker to help NHS coordinate its response

A new Coronavirus Status Checker has been launched today (4 April 2020) by Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock. It was developed to help the NHS coordinate its response and build up additional data on the COVID-19 outbreak.

The NHS is keen for anyone in the UK who thinks they may be displaying potential coronavirus symptoms, no matter how mild, to complete it.

This is not a triage or clinical advice tool. Status Checker users should visit 111 online for medical advice about their symptoms.

The information gathered will help the NHS to plan its response to the outbreak. Such as indicating when and where more resources like oxygen, ventilators and additional staff might be needed. It could also provide valuable insight into the development and progression of the virus across the country.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

“Technology and data is playing a vital role in battling coronavirus and supporting our heroic NHS frontline workers to save lives, protect the vulnerable, and relive pressure on the NHS.

“We must learn as much as possible about this virus, and we are asking the whole nation to join this effort.

“If anyone has experienced symptoms of COVID-19 I would urge you to use our new status checker app to help us to collect essential information on the virus and allow us to better allocate NHS resources where they are needed most.”

Information collected by the NHS Coronavirus Status Checker will form part of a core national COVID-19 dataset held by NHS England.

People can complete the survey for themselves or on behalf of someone else with their permission.

It asks them:

  • Why they are staying at home
  • To choose from a series of options to describe how they are feeling
  • Whether they have any other health problems
  • Their date of birth
  • Their postcode
  • How many people are living in their home

The NHS says that the Status Checker will not identify users from the information they provide. But it will cross-reference data from other sources to ensure it avoids counting people twice.

Adding that the answers given by the public will only be used by the NHS and trusted organisations working directly with the NHS in response to coronavirus.

The information will not be retained any longer than is strictly necessary post COVID-19.