BLACKBURN with Darwen’s public health director has won the first stage of his battle for NHS England to share with councils detailed local coronavirus data collected from people who contact 111 about symptoms.

Professor Dominic Harrison was frustrated the information gathered from the people ringing in or going online was not being shared with councils so they could plan ahead.

Now NHS England has agreed to give them the data by clinical commissioning group area although it says it cannot yet break it down to postcodes,

Professor Harrison said: “ I am delighted NHS England has now responded to our request to publish the NHS 111 Covid19 symptomatic data taken from on-line enquiries and telephone calls by local areas.

"Our analysts are now examining the data provided and it looks like the analysis will give us the data of those reporting COVID19 symptoms by each clinical commissioning group in England along with age and gender. It does not look like we can use the data yet to go to a smaller area of analysis such as postcode level. "However, this new data will be invaluable in helping us to make more accurate predictions about the likely future demand on the health and social care system in three weeks time.

"We are now in a much better place to help local public services plan for what is to come over the next few weeks and months”.