COVID-19 National Notification & Digital Tracing Service

Supporting test results delivery for people in Scotland.

Services provided
  • Design
  • Technology
  • Data and AI

The ask

The Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre (DHI) was commissioned by the Scottish Government to support Scotland’s digital response to COVID-19. DHI approached us to collaborate with Public Health Scotland, NHS National Services Scotland, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Lothian and Sitekit.

We needed to co-design and develop the National Notification and Digital Tracing Service to support test results delivery for people in Scotland who had been tested for COVID-19.

6

Weeks from start of project to delivery

18.5m

Test results ingested

3.9m

Notifications sent


What we did

With pace being a priority, we used existing technologies, services and capabilities to securely provide test result notifications. The service needed to be built for scale and flexibility so that it could respond to evolving public health requirements. It also needed to the diverse needs of the public and the range of health boards.

The services used the Lenus Health Platform that supports secure health data exchange. The platform uses Microsoft Azure to allow for rapid delivery, agile infrastructure, and support during peak demand for resources. Secure integrations with the NHS National Services Scotland Integration Hub, GOV.UK Notify service and the National Contact Tracing Management System were vital.

With these technologies and integrations in place, the service acted as a vital bridge between NHS systems, data and an individual. It provided information in a timely and secure way. It allowed each person to act rapidly on the result of a test in support of government and clinical guidelines to help control the spread of the virus during the pandemic.

3 smartphone screenshots of the Covid notification user interface
Tablet view showing clinician user interface
Desktop view showing clinician user interface for a patient list

Results

The service was developed at pace and was well received by tracing and clinical staff in 12 NHS Boards. Feeds were set up by individual NHS Boards to allow them to control which people received notifications, excluding inpatients and those in care homes for example.

The service ingested more than 18 million test results and sent out nearly 4 million notifications.

For people who were notified of a positive test result, 45% went on to use the digital service to provide details of those they had been in contact with. Of those, 75% self-reported their contacts and settings within 60 minutes of receiving their positive test result notification.

Screenshot of Covid notification user interface

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