Public confidence key to the continued effectiveness of the NHS COVID-19 app Health Foundation response to analysis showing the impact of the NHS COVID-19 app

10 February 2021

About 2 mins to read

Commenting on analysis showing the impact of the NHS COVID-19 app, Josh Keith, Senior Fellow at the Health Foundation, said:

‘We welcome the release of this data, which is a crucial step towards increasing the public’s support for the contact tracing app – technology that could play an important role when restrictions begin to ease. However, significant questions about the app’s effectiveness remain which only further evaluation can answer.

‘Public confidence is likely to be key to the uptake of the app, its continued use, and compliance with requests to self-isolate. While our latest polling with Ipsos MORI* found a majority (61%) supported the government’s use of the app, fewer supported it than in May 2020 (67%). There has also been an increase in the proportion of people who oppose the government’s use of the app since May 2020 (from 12% to 19%) while around one in five (18%) remain indifferent. This overall wane in enthusiasm is perhaps unsurprising given the vacuum of information until now, while there has been an abundance of column inches detailing problems with the app - from the delays in its initial launch, to technical glitches and issues following its roll-out.

‘The data released today also don’t tell us how uptake and use of the app might differ among those groups that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 and what the implications of this might be. Our research has highlighted this as a major area for concern, showing that just 48% of those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds were in support of the app compared to 63% of people from a white background. It is crucial that we understand how the app can best help protect groups most at risk of the negative impacts of the virus as part of the wider package of measures in place.’


The Health Foundation commissioned Ipsos MORI to survey 2,000 adults in England, Scotland and Wales by telephone between 13 and 24 November 2020. This was a follow up survey to two previous rounds of polling: the first carried out in May 2020 and the second in July 2020. View the full survey findings

Media contact

Simon Perry
020 7257 2093

Further reading


Public perceptions of health and social care in light of COVID-19 (November 2020)

January 2021

Results from an Ipsos MORI survey commissioned by the Health Foundation between 13 and 24 November...

Press release

New contact tracing app welcome but government must ensure app works for the hardest hit groups

13 August 2020
Press release

Health Foundation response to government's announcement of new contact tracing app.

You might also like...


A tale of two hospitals: the pandemic and its aftermath in Berlin and London – with Professor Heyo Kroemer and Professor Tim Orchard

28 July 2022

Episode 22. Professor Heyo Kroemer of the Charité in Berlin and Professor Tim Orchard of Imperial...


What can the COVID-19 response tell us about public health interventions and inequalities? Three reflections from Newham


Jason Strelitz, DPH for Newham, shares some important lessons from the experience of managing public...


Webinar: What does the future look like for the general practice workforce?


In this webinar, we explored the REAL Centre’s upcoming report on updated NHS workforce supply...

Watch video
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

COVID-19 has brought disruption to health care systems around the world. Our analysis explores how services in the…

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more