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Coronavirus: Disease Control

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 157103, tabled on 23 February 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) best practice and (b) ethical guidelines were followed in the development of the QCovid risk assessment algorithm; and what engagement was undertaken with end-users in that development process.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

1 March 2021

Oxford University, who led the consortium to develop the QCovid model, involved patients in presenting the research questions and in developing plans for design and implementation of the national derivation and validation cohort study and in interpreting and disseminating the results.

The Department has worked with National Health Service leaders, the Royal Colleges and the British Medical Association to develop and test the approach and to understand how to safely embed the model in ways that best support patients and clinicians. The Moral and Ethical Advisory Group and Government Equalities Office were also regularly consulted. In addition, the Department worked with the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication who surveyed patients and clinicians to shape how the results could be presented.

The research underpinning the model was peer-reviewed and published in the BMJ on 20 October 2020. It has been independently validated by the Office for National Statistics, who found it to perform in the ‘excellent’ range and accurately identifies patients at high risk from COVID-19. Both the model and its implementation in the NHS have been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. The ethical approval for the QResearch database used in the research is the East Midlands-Derby Research Ethics Committee.

Named day
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