Summary of report content
Healthwatch North Yorkshire conducted research into Test and Trace, drawing on results gathered from their COVID-19 briefing published in November and updated from feedback in December. Healthwatch North Yorkshire found much frustration regarding Test and Trace, with a lack of clarity of guidance (41%), inability to access tests (34%), and a failure of the track and trace system (16%) being the main issues raised.
Members of the public have been calling to receive advice regarding testing, enquiring how and when to get a test and if they should get a test. Members of the public are also indicating they are receiving conflicting advice. Being unable to book a test has been another theme, with home kits being limited and members of the public reporting that they have been directed to testing sites 50+ miles away. There has also been feedback from members of the public who have not been contacted after being in proximity to others who have tested positive for COVID-19. This has resulted in confusion and anxiety from members of the public.
Healthwatch North Yorkshire recommends that clear, transparent, and accessible information should be provided to the public. Testing availability should be increased to meet the demand of the community, and site locations should be chosen on population need. Communication should be improved to ensure people are contacted promptly and positive messaging should be used to encourage people to get tested. Healthwatch North Yorkshire reported feedback on the 30th November at an event hosted by the Department of Health and Social Care. Organisers from the DHSC recognised the importance of the feedback they received and provided assurances that efforts were being made to improve the situation.