COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment

NHS Digital has used QCovid® to develop the COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment.

NHS Digital has used QCovid® to develop the COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment. (PRA). This combines a number of factors such as age, sex registered at birth, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI) and specific health conditions and treatments to estimate the risk of a person catching coronavirus and becoming seriously unwell.

Centrally held patient data was used to identify people who might be at high risk, using the codes listed here. Using data in this way for the COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment is providing ongoing opportunities for improvements in care through identification of particular cohorts of patients in primary care.

The University of Oxford’s QCovid® model was developed using the QResearch database, which includes anonymised GP record data and uses SNOMED-CT codes and Read v2 codes. To allow the model to be applied at a population level, an expanded list of SNOMED-CT codes was produced. This expanded list of codes was used to implement the COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment but was not used in the research to develop the model. Read more about some of these expanded code sets.

This is in line with the precautionary approach to be as inclusive as possible and overestimate rather than underestimate risk and helps to ensure that people who may be at high risk from coronavirus receive advice, priority access to vaccination and other support available to people added to the Shielded Patient List (SPL).

QCovid® Risk Calculator DLL v1.1.0 was used for the COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment.

The information is correct as Version 1 of the COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment Code List on 16 March 2021.

If you have a question about the COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment, please email

Data sets

NHS Digital searched the following data sets for the codes provided by the University of Oxford, the code list includes which data set was used for each code:

The code list describes GPES and GDPPR collectively as GP data, as the coding in these data sets is the same.


The codes used to identify demographic data are listed out on separate worksheets:
BMI Body Mass Index
Ethnic Category Ethnic Category
Sex Sex registered at birth

Coding systems

Multiple codes

Some codes will appear multiple times in the code list as they are included in more than one condition group; the full list of codes used in the Population Risk Assessment has been included in a single worksheet."