It informs national policy, offering a surveillance tool for new SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern. The SIREN dataset is accessible to others using the Co-Connect platform. Data collection, in the form of active testing, is funded until 31st March 2023.

During the COVID-19 pandemic there have been few influenza cases, with transmission probably limited by social distancing measures implemented to contain SARS-CoV-2. This winter, with the cessation of these measures, UKHSA reports higher rates of influenza and an earlier start to the season than in previous years. The Winter Pressures Sub-study, using the existing SIREN infrastructure, will expand testing to influenza (A&B), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and SARS-CoV-2 to create a new surveillance tool integrating incidence and HCW sickness data pertaining to these pathogens. Existing reporting mechanisms will convey these data to the Chief Medical Officers (CMO) of all four UK nations.

We will assess the burden of respiratory illness and HCW sickness on health systems within the UK, known as winter pressures. In addition, this sub-study will provide data on VE, the incidence of asymptomatic and symptomatic influenza in HCWs and symptomatology of different respiratory viruses. By using our existing collaborations within UKHSA and the SIREN Consortium academic partners we will optimise the breadth of analyses from this dataset. As with COVID-19, our relationship with the UKHSA nosocomial modelling group will be used to guide healthcare policy and workforce planning for future winters.