THE people of Liverpool are being asked to share vital feedback on their experience of the UK’s first Covid testing pilot.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has been commissioned by the Department for Health and Social Care to conduct a study into Liverpool’s participation in the nation’s first experience of community testing or SMART (Systematic Meaningful Asymptomatic Repeated Testing), and will be sending a letter to 60,000 homes in the city.
People are being asked to share confidential feedback whether they have chosen to take the test or not. Giving feedback is done online using unique access codes and won’t take longer than 15 minutes. Feedback can also be given over the phone.
Feedback will be used to understand how successful the pilot has been in Liverpool and what improvements can be made before it is rolled out elsewhere in the country.
The ONS is the UK’s recognised national statistical institute and the largest independent producer of official statistics.
As of yesterday, over 80,000 Liverpool residents have been tested since last Friday, 6 November, whether using lateral flow devices or PCR tests, with another almost 10,000 people who live in neighbouring areas also being tested in the city.
The testing pilot is continuing. Full details about the pilot and test centre locations can be found on the council’s website.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “We’ve been clear from the very start that Liverpool’s mass-testing pilot has been a chance to not only bring the spread of the virus under control in our city and to save lives but it’s also an opportunity to learn how mass-testing can be run so it can be rolled out in other towns and cities.
“Part of that learning process is hearing what people have thought about the pilot and that is what the Office for National Statistics Survey is all about. Whether you have been supportive of the pilot and have taken the test or if you have had reservations about it the ONS really does want to hear what you think.
“If your household receives an invitation from the ONS to complete the survey I’d urge everyone to get online and take a few minutes to share their views. Remember: what is learnt from our experience in Liverpool will ultimately save lives elsewhere.”
Iain Bell, director general at the Office for National Statistics, said: “All eyes are on what’s happening in Liverpool and the ONS is here to see how it’s working out.
“What we learn here can help the response to this pandemic right across the UK. So we’re counting on people in Liverpool to make their voices heard.”