An important part of the fight against Covid-19 was tracking patient cases and accurately locating them to better assess the spread of the virus. James Lewis, UKHSA Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Manager, Data Analytics and Monitoring Team, said: “Operating system data was essential for us to be able to do our job. Without using OS AddressBase, we couldn’t have reacted the way we did. No other dataset could allow us to easily see every property classification for every Covid case. »
Through the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA), the UKHSA has accessed a range of OS products and services, including AddressBase and Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN), to support their response plans .
The UKHSA has implemented UPRN to specify the exact locations of Covid-19 cases, and through this, the type of property. This information helped create new reports that could be shared with health protection teams, such as the number of cases that emerged in specific residential types – including care homes and prisons.
Accurate locations, made possible by OS AddressBase and UPRN, helped the UKHSA work out where to deliver Covid-19 test kits. The UKHSA also used the OS Highways dataset to understand and plot the locations of potential test sites; then assess patient accessibility to the nearest site.
Their collaboration with OS has helped inform emergency response, and UKHSA’s use of these datasets will help inform its work around all hazards to protect the nation in the future.
You can find out more about the PSGA at the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement.