Syndromic surveillance

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Syndromic surveillance has become an essential surveillance public health function. Syndromic surveillance uses methods relying on detection of individual and population health indicators that are discernible before confirmed diagnoses are made. It can help in the early identification of disease outbreaks with whole health systems impact. It can also help in winter pressures response. The combination of real time electronic data capture, the internet and large data processing warehouses should produce coordinated response times of days rather than weeks which may be essential given the time frame potential of certain epidemics.

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Syndromic surveillance in England combines:

  • Remote Health Advice
    • Monitors syndromic calls from remote health advice services e.g. NHS 111 each day across England
  • Emergency Department Syndromic Surveillance System (EDSSS)
    • ED network across England monitoring daily attendances and presenting symptoms/diagnoses
  • GP In-Hours Syndromic Surveillance System
    • UK general practitioner surveillance system monitoring daily consultations for a range of clinical syndromic indicators
  • GP Out-of-Hours Syndromic Surveillance System (GPOOHS)
    • Monitors daily GP out-of hours activity and unscheduled care across England using a range of clinical syndromic indicators
  • RCGP Weekly Returns Service (RCGP WRS)