Lambeth is a complex borough with people from a wide range of religious, language, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. These facts presented both opportunities and challenges in our communications campaign to support surge testing.
Lambeth is also a young borough with high levels of political engagement, media consumption and an over representation of people working in newspapers, TV and other outlets. There are also hard-to-reach audiences that throughout the pandemic we have worked hard to build the infrastructure needed to ensure inclusion of messaging. These facts presented both opportunities and challenges in our communications campaign to support surge testing.
We were put on standby at the end of play on a Friday 9 April that entire borough surge testing would be announced by the Department of Health & Social Care on Monday 12 April afternoon. All existing lateral flow testing would be switched to PCR testing alongside a huge expansion of capacity. Enhanced testing of this scope and nature had never been done before in England. This meant rapidly gathering with the surge testing operations team and starting to develop the key communications assets. We had previously run communications and engagement for two surge testing operations in the borough, but in small sections of Lambeth in specific postcodes. This operation would be much wider and target all audiences.
Our case study highlights the issues, our approach and the results of this highly complex operation.