4. The communication flow
4.1 Communication is integral to the management of disease response. Effective and consistent communication is essential to warn and inform those involved in the response to the outbreak and those affected by it, of the risks presented and how best to mitigate them. If people are better informed, there will be a more effective response to the outbreak.
4.2 Communication during a disease outbreak has two main elements:
- a focus on the response: that is, managing immediate disease control or the wider consequences that might arise
- the different information demands of target audiences, whether national, local, internal to Scottish Government and/or its operational partners, or external stakeholders.
A wide range of groups and organisations are involved in the communication process, but responsibility for its coordination falls to seven key players (fig 1). Each has a distinct role in responding to disease incursion, and a coordinated approach to communications can help ensure consistency in the messages delivered. Figure 1 highlights the relationships between these groups, whose roles are described in more detail in the following sections.
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