Last reviewed 12 January 2022

NHS England (NHSE) has said GPs will be able to report Covid-19 staff absences using a newly launched tracker.

The tracker has been designed to make it simple for staff and managers to report Covid-19 related absence, and should be used to report:

  • unable to work: caring responsibilities

  • unable to work: symptoms of Coronavirus

  • unable to work: confirmed Covid-19 diagnosis.

In an email bulletin sent to practices on 7 January 2022, NHSE said “NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) is working at pace to refine the Covid-19 staff absence tracker so that all primary care contractors can commence absence reporting via this platform from next week.”

NHSE said the tool does not access staff members’ individual absence records but confirmed: “NHS England and NHS Improvement produce reports in aggregated form (numbers) for the purposes of monitoring absence and managing the response to the Covid emergency nationally.”

The bulletin reminded practices they are required to report Covid-19 outbreaks and ensure the NHS 111 Directory of Services is updated to signpost patients to available services.

It added: “It is essential that providers inform their local commissioner when the delivery of services is compromised or reduced by staff absences, whether or not attributed to a Covid-19 outbreak, in line with local reporting and escalation processes in order to support service continuity and resilience plans.

“Your commissioner will work with you to find resolutions during these challenging times.”