Text messaging service launched for people with symptoms of COVID-19

NHSX, NHS Digital and the NHS Business Services Authority have developed and launched a new messaging service to support those at home suffering with suspected Coronavirus symptoms.

For those who access NHS 111 online and complete a short assessment will be sent daily SMS messages to check how people are and to support those that need help through the isolation period.

It is only available through accessing NHS 111 online and the new service is hoped to help understand the number of people who are self isolating and the severity of their symptoms.

Dr Simon Eccles, Deputy Chief Executive, NHSX said “This new service is vitally important to help the NHS to understand the impact of the virus on patients and its progression and spread across the country.”

Matt Hancock, Health and Social Care Secretary added “We are doing everything we can to protect the health of the nation during this outbreak, including supporting our fantastic NHS and social care workforce who are looking after people who have symptoms or are self-isolating.”

“I know all too well that experiencing symptoms can be worrying, but for those living on their own it will be even more so. Alongside other measures, this new daily text service will reassure our most vulnerable that they are not alone, and also to help them manage their symptoms.”

“Technology, combined with our heroic staff on the frontline, have played a huge role in battling this virus and I encourage everyone to use this new service.”

Professor Jonathan Benger, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Digital, said “This new service will help people to get the encouragement, advice and support that they need.”

The new text messaging service has been commissioned by NHSX and built by NHS Digital and the NHS Business Services Authority.