Health care usage during COVID-19 The latest data, analysis and survey findings on the significant impact the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having on how the public are using health services

202006 COVID-19 Acute care dimension graphic

There is growing evidence that people are using health services less since the start of the pandemic; we’ve seen big drops in A&E attendances, fewer cancer referrals and an increase in cancellations of planned treatment for people with long term conditions.

This may be down to a number of reasons; including changes in how NHS services are operating, patient behaviour and the prevalence of some conditions.

Over recent weeks we have been sharing the latest data, analysis and survey findings that show how the public are using health services during the pandemic.

Looking at the way people’s use of services have changed can provide a better understanding of what is needed to get services back up and running.

We will update this page as the work continues over the coming weeks and months.

Understanding Society is the UK’s Household Longitudinal study, which the Health Foundation is supporting. Data from the study is being made available publicly on a monthly basis for research about the changing impact of the pandemic on healthcare seeking behaviour, the welfare of individuals, families and communities in the UK.

Latest reports, polling and analysis


Public perceptions of health and social care in light of COVID-19

June 2020

Results from an Ipsos MORI survey commissioned by the Health Foundation.

Press release

Over 700,000 patients served by GPs at high risk of COVID-19 could be left without access to face-to-face GP appointments

6 August 2020

New Health Foundation research reveals that one in three GPs who singlehandedly manage a GP practice...

Press release

The NHS will not be able to restart all of its services at once and difficult decisions will have to be made

9 July 2020

Health Foundation response to NHS England's monthly performance statistics.

Press release

People are avoiding hospital because they are nervous of catching COVID-19

23 June 2020

Health Foundation response to ONS weekly deaths in England and Wales.

Press release

Latest NHS statistics show more is needed to ensure people with cancer get treatment they need

11 June 2020

Health Foundation response to NHS England's monthly performance statistics.

Press release

Cancelled NHS treatment may be storing up greater health problems for the future

8 June 2020

Health Foundation response to Understanding Society data on the reduction in treatment for people...

External link

NHS hospital treatments for long-term health conditions fall by over 60% in April

New data from Understanding Society shows that the impact of the pandemic on NHS hospital treatments...

External link

Briefing note COVID-19 survey: health and caring

Full report from Understanding Society on the experience of COVID-19 symptoms, testing and...

Newsletter blog

Shock to the system: COVID-19’s long-term impact on the NHS

28 May 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a major shock to the NHS and social care systems and has...


Early insight into the impacts of COVID-19 on care for people with long-term conditions

21 May 2020

The Health Foundation has supported an online YouGov survey, designed by the Resolution Foundation,...


Long read

How might COVID-19 affect the number of GPs available to see patients in England?

About 10 mins to read

COVID-19 may affect the number of GPs able to consult with patients face-to-face. We explore this...


How has COVID-19 affected service delivery in GP practices that offered remote consultations before the pandemic?

The digital-first primary care goal set out in the NHS Long Term Plan has been thrown into the...


Exploring the fall in A&E visits during the pandemic

COVID-19 has led to radical changes in the way that people are using NHS services, including...


Five things we learnt from our polling on public perceptions during COVID-19

What are the five things we've learnt so far from a Ipsos MORI polling (commissioned by the Health...


How has NHS 111 shaped public demand for the NHS in England during the pandemic?

Emma Vestesson and Tim Gardner look at what recent changes in patient interaction with NHS services...


Emergency care: what do the May data show?

In previous analyses we explored how COVID-19 is changing the use of emergency care on a national...


How is COVID-19 changing the use of emergency care by region?

Changes in the overall number of ambulance incidents have been small but there are large changes in...


How is COVID-19 changing the use of emergency care?

Elaine Kelly and Zoe Firth look at how activity in the emergency care sector has changed since the...


Visits to A&E departments in England in April 2020 fell by 57% compared to last year

NHS England data show coronavirus has had a seismic impact on how people are using health services


How might COVID-19 have affected people’s ability to see their GP?

The data suggest that some face to face GP appointments may have been replaced by virtual...

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