SCAS bids farewell to COVID response services

Apr 25, 2023 | Members e-Bulletin, News, Stakeholder eBulletin

We would like to thank everyone who was part of the national covid response services which SCAS ran during the pandemic. On the 31 March 2023 the final remaining services transferred to the UK Health Security Agency.

The SCAS team were a critical part of the country’s response to Covid, helping millions of people manage symptoms, book vaccinations and arrange Covid passes and medical exemptions.

At the height of the pandemic, it was one of the largest call centre operations in the country; and larger than all other parts of SCAS combined.

  • The Covid Clinical Assessment Service recruited 3,500 clinicians to help over 600,000 patients with Covid symptoms. Dental and pharmacy clinical assessment services were also provided.
  • The Vaccination Booking Service answered over 17.4 million calls and made 6.2 million vaccination bookings. On their busiest day in September 2022, they took over 113,000 calls.
  • The Vaccination Data Resolution Service helped 350,000 people fix their Covid vaccination records so they could get their next dose or secure a Covid Pass for travelling overseas and to enter certain venues.
  • The Covid Pass service provided a telephone route for people who could not use the online system and the Medical Exemption service took nearly 250,000 calls and arranged 50,000 medical exemptions for people who could not have the vaccine.

Our Chief Nurse, Professor Helen Young, led the Covid Response Services. Bidding farewell to the remaining services, she said:

“From the very bottom of my heavy heart, I want to thank the team for all they have done, with such steadfast commitment and professionalism. It has been an absolute honour and privilege to lead this critical unit.

“There were many difficult moments, sometimes tears, but also thankfully, plenty of laughs. We were tested every step of the way. But the common goal of delivery united us so powerfully, and we have produced a body of work that will help inform future patient care during times of a national emergency.”