Statistics published today on COVID-19 patients recorded by GPs

NHS Digital’s new “Coronavirus as Recorded in Primary Care” publication presents the number of people recorded by GPs with either a positive COVID-19 test or with COVID-19 symptoms, displayed over time, between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2021.

These experimental statistics1 include information on the patients’ demographic characteristics, such as age, ethnicity and social economic status – published as a descriptive report and an open data file.

The key findings in the report’s executive summary are attached with this operational note.

The aim of this report is to help understand the prevalence of COVID-19 in different populations in England and in the total population. GP records include clinical diagnoses that can provide a fuller picture of rates at the start of the pandemic2 and the work of GPs, identified via the primary care dataset (GP Data for Pandemic Planning and Research).

It will complement the existing Pathways and Testing dashboards already published on the NHS Digital website by providing a more accurate picture and helping to identify trends and spikes.

The dataset will be updated on an ad hoc basis and feedback is welcome here: Please reference “Coronavirus as Recorded in Primary Care feedback” in the title of the email.

View the publication



  1. The data and analysis presented here are badged as Experimental Statistics. This is to inform users of the data and its reported statistics are still in a developmental phase and may have issues pertaining to data quality. However both the analysis and data are still of value provided that users view them in the context of the data quality information provided. As the data set matures the coverage and the quality of the data being reported will improve enabling the data to become fit for a wider variety of beneficial uses.
  2. The cohort of patients included in the data are those with at least one COVID-19 related diagnosis in their primary care record between 1 March 2020 to 31 March 2021. Patients are included in the analysis if they have at least one event recorded as a clinical or laboratory confirmed case, or a suspected case.