Coronavirus (COVID-19): supporting people at higher risk - qualitative research

Findings from interviews with representatives of 16 local authorities across Scotland, exploring how they have been supporting people at higher risk during COVID-19.

Research aims and methods

SG was keen to develop understanding (collectively with local government) of how the local response to the Coronavirus pandemic is supporting those at higher risk from Covid-19 but not shielding, in order to inform consideration of future support options.[2]

In order to provide in-depth evidence, in-house qualitative research was undertaken to explore who in the 'non-shielded at risk group' is contacting local authorities for Covid-related support (whether via the national helpline or local authority numbers), what support they are getting and how this is provided locally.

The ways in which Scotland's 32 local authorities manage calls from people at higher risk from Covid-19 is likely to be diverse, reflecting differences in populations, geographies and delivery mechanisms. To reflect this, 16 LAs were selected to include a mix of cities, higher and lower density authorities, and islands.

Participants were all employed by local authorities and those who were recruited had detailed knowledge of helpline operation and/or Covid support in their authority; in some authorities this involved multiple participants and in one case two separate interviews were conducted. Interviews with a total of 27 officials from these 16 authorities were conducted between 21st May and 18th June 2020 by phone or videoconference, each lasting 45-60 minutes and following a semi-structured topic guide.



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