COVID-19 Quality Improvement Programme

COVID-19 poses a significant risk to all patients with chronic respiratory conditions. We have a new programme that can help your practice prepare and have a proactive response to targeting your interventions at your most vulnerable patients. The programme will also contribute valuable anonymised patient data for ethically approved COVID-19 related research.

About the programme

The COVID-19 Quality Improvement Programme will help GP practices identify patients affected by COVID-19 through patient questionnaires combined with patient electronic health records (EHR). Practices will receive COVID-19 reports which highlight various at-risk patient groups with targeted recommendations for managing their care, generally and individually. The COVID-19 reports will enable practices to prepare strategies and target resources according to local needs to manage their patients affected by COVID-19.

1. Electronic Health Record

Practices are supported with secure remote de-identified data collection from their clinical system (coded and free text data). Practices on all major clinical systems are supported e.g. Emis, Vision, SystmOne. This involves remote installation of necessary software.

2. COVID-19 Questionnaire

On behalf of the practice SMS text requests are sent to their patients (age 18-85) to complete an online COVID-19 questionnaire. Practices will approve a list of eligible patients derived from their EHR. The questionnaire has been designed by the clinical and scientific experts for use in primary care. Part of the questionnaire is dedicated to respiratory patients and supports their remote review, as well as help meet health targets e.g. QoF.

View patient questionnaire.

3. Quality Improvement

OPC combine the de-identified EHR data and the COVID-19 questionnaire responses to produce quality improvement (QI) reports tailored at practice and patient level. The COVID-19 reports will enable practices to prepare strategies and target resources to manage their patients affected by COVID-19.

The reports highlight at-risk patient groups with targeted recommendations for managing their care:

  • Patients who had COVID-19, including those hospitalised.
  • Patients who have been inactive or isolated through lockdown, including those with limiting comorbidities.
  • Asthma/COPD patients with unreported symptoms or have not had review.
  • Patients who have not sought care from the practice and may be at risk.

Practices also receive feedback of the COVID-19 questionnaires responses and any patient concerns. The aim is to provide a holistic approach and to provide patient-centred care when needed.

Example practice report
Example patient report

4. COVID-19 Research

As part of the programme, de-identified data provided by practices will be contributed to the Optimum Patient Care Research Database for ethically approved research, and made available for COVID-19 research. The programme will also enable practices to contribute to urgently needed big data for ethically approved research relevant to primary care on COVID-19 (and other studies) that will be used to improve care in the future. The programme will provide a rich source of anonymised patient data to help address many unanswered questions relating to COVID-19.

The platform will support the conduct COVID-19 related observational studies, questionnaire studies and clinical trials. Practices may participate in any study conducted on the platform, if they have suitable patients. We also welcome practices who only wish to contribute anonymised data towards COVID-19 research. Research findings will be disseminated and shared with the NHS and wider health community for public health benefit.

Value added to practices and patients

  • Enable practices to better prepare (strategy, resources) to manage patients, post-lockdown and in the event of second wave (new cases, re-infections).
  • Access to quality improvement service and support for COVID-19.
  • Patient surveys will help practices obtain first-hand information from patients about COVID-19.
  • Patient surveys will help practices to know about COVID-19 cases (actual incidence and prevalence) in their locality.
  • Quality improvement or clinical audits and reports can go directly into appraisal and revalidation portfolios for GPs, nurses, pharmacists, etc.
  • Teaching or training practices may use the programme as a learning tool for GP training and medical student projects.
  • Opportunities to participate in COVID-19 quality improvement initiatives.
  • Opportunities to participate in COVID-19 research including paid studies (if conducted on the platform).

To take part simply register your interest at the link below or contact us.


Tel: 01223 967855

Download our COVID-19 QI information pack

Steering Committee

The platform is steered by a committee of clinical experts from both primary and secondary care including clinicians, scientists, epidemiologists, data scientists, health data and technology experts, and patient representation. The committee ensures that the patient questionnaires, quality improvement reports and recommendations, and any research conducted through the platform is clinically and scientifically relevant and will improve care for patients affected by COVID-19.


  • OPRI
  • Wellbeing Software
  • Interface Clinical Services
  • Respiratory Effectiveness Group

Committee Members

Prof David Price (University of Aberdeen), Prof Steven Julious, Dr Phil Oliver, Dr Rebecca Simpson, Dr Jen Lewis (University of Sheffield), Dr Rupert Jones (University of Plymouth, Makere University), Prof Salman Siddiqui (University of Leicester), Dr Dermot Ryan (University of Edinburgh, EAACI), Prof Hilary Pinnock (University of Edinburgh, AUKCAR), Dr David Jackson (King’s College London), Dr Katherine Hickman (Bradford, Leeds, PCRS), Prof Ian Pavord (University of Oxford), Tony Megaw, Pam Young (Wellbeing Software), Prof Stephen Holgate (University of Southampton), Prof David Halpin (Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, NICE), Prof Kamlesh Khunti (University of Leicester, NIHR ARC), Sir Prof Lewis Ritchie, OBE (University of Aberdeen), Dr Tim Bosworth (Norfolk), Steve Davis (Interface Clinical Services), Prof Stephen Holgate (University of Southampton, MRC).

Data Processing and Protection

The platform has been developed through collaboration with many academic and industry partners. The platform is provided to GP practices as part of the OPC Quality Improvement Service. The unique value of platform is bringing together patient data through the Optimum Patient Care Research Database (OPCRD) for COVID-19 research and improving patient care. All patient data collected is de-identified so it is not possible to identify a patient. OPCRD is approved by NHS Health Research Authority (REC ref: 20/EM/0148) to provide anonymised data for scientific, medical and public health research.

OPC quality improvement programmes are provided in compliance with the GDPR / Data Protection Act 2018 (Data Protection Register Ref: ZA197058) and the NHS Data Security and Protection Toolkit (Ref: 8HR5). OPC acts as Data Processors under the guidance of the GP Practice, who are Data Controllers on behalf of their patients. OPC staff undertake certified mandatory annual NHS Data Security and Protection training, and a two-yearly Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training.