WHO criterion 6: Communities have a voice
WHO criterion 6: Communities have a voice, are informed, engaged and participatory in the transition.
The transition can only be managed effectively if members of the public are engaged and willing to support the measures being implemented. Understanding how, why and the context within which people respond will help us to anticipate unintended scenarios and initiate mitigation measures. That should lead to the development of measures that are according to WHO "better informed, situated, accepted and thus more effective". The voices of individuals and communities are therefore an essential resource during the transition.
Informing the Public
Daily Ministerial briefings, generally led by the First Minister and supported by medical and scientific advisors have provided clear and consistent messaging. These have been followed by Q&A with journalists. The briefing has also been used to launch and direct the public to new publications and engagement opportunities using its significant reach.
Marketing campaigns have also been developed and deployed to increase awareness of vital public health information and support for those who need it - for instance for domestic abuse, mental health and managing finances. Messages have evolved as restrictions have lifted, reflecting the importance of messaging based on the most current scientific evidence and values to support compliance.
Paid-for-media campaigns have targeted a number of different demographics with specific messaging, including the general population; at risk audiences (adults 70+, adults at increased risk of Covid complications); victims of domestic abuse; BAME communities; renters; those with financial worries as a result of Covid; young people and parents.
Advice and Guidance has been published on a wide range of issues on the Scottish Government website to support individuals and businesses through this period.
A number of documents have been published as part of the Framework for Decision Making series. These outline the approach and principles that will guide us, and the Route Map we will follow as we make decisions about transitioning out of the lockdown arrangements.
Data on the pandemic have been published on the Scottish Government website daily, and are also available in Open Data format. Findings in modelling the epidemic have also been shared online.
Measures from YouGov polling are used to sense check that Scottish Government communications are trusted, clear and helpful; and opinion on the clarity and helpfulness of Scottish Government communications remains very positive
Finding out about the public
Marketing activity has been developed following qualitative insight gathering among different audiences in Scotland. Creative work has been co-created and tested in qualitative research for effectiveness ahead of production. Impact of paid-for-media campaigns has been tracked, to ensure that marketing campaigns have been effective.
The COVID hub has carried out a range of polling and survey work, tracking the impact of Covid on communities to support effective action to mitigate the harms of the pandemic – this includes polling to monitor public attitudes and behaviours to understand
i) compliance with rules and guidance
ii) impact of the virus on personal and societal wellbeing,
iii) trust in government handling of Covid-19
iv) monitoring of some of the harm indicators on trust, loneliness and health.
A weekly summary of the trends is produced and a monthly summary is published for external audiences. In combination with this a survey of stakeholders was commissioned to understand the broader societal impact of Covid on wellbeing. The results are helping us contextualise some of the polling findings and get a more rounded sense of societal impact.
Policy areas across the Scottish Government have worked with partners and stakeholders to understand the impact of Covid-19 on their work. The Covid-19 and Ethnicity Expert Reference Group has been established to assess and understand impacts for Minority ethnic groups in Scotland. For example the team has collated published evidence of 'lived experience' gathered independently of government.
Policy teams have engaged in discussions with stakeholders to understand the impact of Covid on different communities. Much of this will be reflected in the Route Map Equalities Impact Assessment (EQIA) to be published next week. Stakeholders have also shared research conducted by their own organisations into the impact of the pandemic, allowing further insight into the experiences of a range of communities.
We will continue to gather data on how Covid is affecting the public throughout our response. Additionally, more qualitative research will be carried out to supplement the quantitative data we are already gathering.
Engaging the public
An online public engagement exercise was launched on 5th May and was live until 11th May. In this time, we received more than 4000 ideas and almost 18000 comments relating to the Framework for Decision Making. In total, 11,692 respondents registered for this exercise, of whom 3,274 submitted ideas. All comments and ideas published can be viewed on the platform and a full overview of the engagement exercise has been published online.
Outputs from the Dialogue exercise directly fed into the development of the Route Map publication, published on May 21st, and tailored reports were distributed to policy teams on a number of topics. Insights from the exercise, alongside topic-specific stakeholder engagement work are informing the implementation of the Route Map phases.
Policy teams have taken part in conversations with the public and representative stakeholders in order to engage on specific decisions or issues. For example, Housing and Social Justice officials, have engaged with people with lived experience of homelessness to help inform the recovery plan for this area. This type of engagement will continue as lockdown restrictions are eased.
- Any signs of resurgence are closely monitored as part of enhanced community surveillance
As Scotland transitions to the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, community surveillance for COVID-19 is critical. The national level measures that have become the mainstay of tracking the pandemic will be supplemented by local active surveillance.
We expect to see less community transmission, followed by clusters of cases, then more sporadic cases. The situation will be carefully monitored. Data from Test and Protect will contribute to active surveillance. This includes demonstrating that most new cases are translating into index cases and establishing that high proportions of contacts are traced quickly.
The Scottish Covid Data and Intelligence Network is working to provide an effective pandemic response at national, local, and sectoral levels, and to support public trust by publishing data. That includes the ability to identify potential new clusters of Covid infections at a near real time and on a small area geographical basis.