Providing up-to-date guidance, information and advice to the general public and stakeholders is a vital element of the plan.
While much of the guidance and messaging currently comes from central government and Public Health England (PHE) the interpretation and the localisation of the main messaging has often been needed.
There are existing communication protocols and material in place between PHE and local authorities to ensure clarity and consistency of messages in response to an outbreak, such as letters to parents following a confirmed case in a school.
Making sure we have consistent messages from local organisations is vital to avoid confusion and to build trust and confidence.
Our public messaging will focus on:
- re-enforcing the importance of social distancing and other control measures
- reminding people of the importance of hand washing as our first line of defence
- requesting adherence to isolating when required, to stop the spread of infection
- setting out the support available locally to support people required to isolate
We already have established close working arrangements with key partners in agreeing and communicating proactive, timely COVID-19 messages within the Local Resilience Forum Warning and Informing Group.
Engaging and involving stakeholders and individuals in the development and delivery of messages will continue to be a crucial part of the plan.Channels we will use for communicating include:
- regular e-newsletter
- regular updates from the council leader
- video from the Director for Public Health
- social media content
A communications and engagement strategy will be developed as part of this plan to build trust and confidence within the general public and partners.