A communications and engagement strategy has been developed to support the Surrey Local Outbreak Management Plan. The Communications Plan has evolved as more has been learnt about our public health response to the virus and this report provides the latest update on communications activity.
Andrea Newman - Strategic Director for Communication, Public Affairs and Engagement (SCC)
Key points raised in the discussion:
1. The Strategic Director for Communication, Public Affairs and Engagement (SCC) noted:
· the dynamic situation, since the last Board the country had moved into Step 4 of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown and in line with national guidance and insights from the Public Health Team (SCC) communications campaigns continued been tailored locally for Surrey.
· the change in the guidance concerning self-isolation and international travel - noting the extensive messaging around testing and complying with public health campaigns.
· the success of the RingGo parking app trialled over the summer in Surrey through a six-week campaign targeting the eight Boroughs and Districts where the case rates were higher, the campaign message was viewed over 323,857 times and the service used was free for the public sector.
· the beneficial addition of RingGo similarly to NextDoor within the communications toolbox.
· the data-led targeted communications campaigns focusing on less compliant groups in terms of vaccination uptake such as young men and young people, the SoonSurrey Instagram channel remained a useful tool as well as new summer festival assets - using as many channels as possible targeting in a granular way.
· the targeted communications around the vaccination rollout in conjunction with Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System (ICS) colleagues, colleagues within health and policing and university colleagues.
· the next steps around winter pressures, a group had been set up between Surrey County Council and partner colleagues which had agreed a set of themes which might arise in the future autumn and winter period.
· that she was happy to liaise with colleagues further on the specifics concerning the wide-ranging winter pressures and preparedness not solely limited to Covid-19 and the possible booster vaccines, but also concerning the flu vaccines - further information to follow from the NHS around the model of delivery which will be communicated across Surrey - respiratory illnesses and wider system pressures.
· the winter leaflet would be sent to all households in Surrey following last year’s success, it contained useful phone numbers and information as well as signposting to services; it would be a joint approach with health colleagues.
· the focus on mental health, particularly in October for the World Mental Health Day which would be a system-wide collaborative campaign.
· the Back to School campaign focusing on testing, noting incoming guidance on extending vaccinations to clinically extremely vulnerable children in a particular age group.
· the new legislation coming into force in November for the mandatory vaccinations of people working in care homes, the cut off point for double vaccinations was 16 September 2021 - noting the work to increase awareness of that within organisations across Surrey.
2. The Chairman welcomed the informative update and asked whether the Strategic Director for Communication, Public Affairs and Engagement (SCC) was happy to link into the informal private Board around autumn and winter modelling assumptions.
- In response, the Strategic Director for Communication, Public Affairs and Engagement (SCC) was happy to attend in order to provide an update on winter pressures from the Communications Team (SCC).
3. The Chairman praised the work of the Communications Team (SCC) which continued to liaise closely with the Boroughs and Districts, noting the varied communications assets including the vibrant graphics and targeted messaging campaigns, the consistent themes and messages were popular with residents.
That the Board noted the activity outlined in the report.
Actions/further information to be provided:
1. TheStrategic Director for Communication, Public Affairs and Engagement (SCC) will be invited to the informal private Board meeting to provide an update on winter pressures and preparedness from the Communications Team (SCC) (see minute item 27/21, action 2).