COVID-19: Test, Trace and Protect – councils and local health boards signposting
Promoting and signposting Test, Trace and Protect well can make testing more effective and can help prepare citizens to react appropriately if contacted by tracing teams.
It can also reduce unnecessary phone calls and free up staff time. We realise that there are lots of different ways that information on testing is being shared including on social media, and that citizens might also look for information from different sources such as web searches or by telephone.
For this piece we focused specifically on council and health board websites to identify learning around signposting citizens on how to access information on testing for COVID-19.
A few councils have already created an easy, single-click signpost for users to access information on how to get a test. Some use home screen banners in bright colours, simple clear unambiguous wording on links such as “how to apply for a COVID-19 test if you have any symptoms”. Gwynedd Council’s website [opens in new window] is a good example of a clear and accessible link on its home screen.
Local health boards sign-post arrangements for testing on their websites although sometimes this is potentially ‘hidden’ under a description of the Test, Trace and Protect project, whereas it is more visible on others. For example, Powys Teaching Health Board [opens in new window] that has a very clear link on its front page entitled ‘Get a test’ which is both visible and easy to understand.
- Use language that service users/the public would understand – i.e. they will probably understand ‘get a test’ or ‘how to get a test for COVID-19 / coronavirus but may not know to look under a link that says ‘Test, Trace and Protect.’
- Make it easy to access – on some websites we found ourselves ‘searching’ for information on testing, on others it was clear and obvious either displayed on the home screen of websites or clearly labelled under a ‘COVID-19’ section or equivalent.
- Use existing information and resources – for example a clearly labelled link to Welsh Government web pages on testing is a way to quickly signpost information on testing. Several bodies already include a link to this.
This is an unprecedented situation for everyone so it’s not surprising that many councils have yet to put in place clear and accessible signposting for citizens on how to access testing information, or that the accessibility and availability of information from a service user perspective probably varies across health boards.
Hopefully highlighting this good practice will prompt practice sharing and learning to help citizens access testing information across Wales.
If you would like details of specific practice mentioned above or any other information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information on COVID-19 testing and Test, Trace and Protect:
About the authors
Jeremy Evans is an Audit Manager with responsibility for the local government performance audit programme of work at the six North Wales councils and Ceredigion County Council. He has been with Audit Wales since 2006 and before this he worked in both local and national government in Wales.
Tim Buckle is an Audit Manager with responsibility for the design and development of the local government performance audit programme, as well as performance audit work at two councils. He has been with Audit Wales since 2013 and before this he worked for the WLGA as well as three 3 local authorities in south Wales.