Guidance: NHS Test and Trace public advisory group: taking part

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The registration period closed on 19 April 2021. If youre selected, the organisers will contact you by phone and email on or after Tuesday 20 April 2021.

For more information, see the NHS Test and Trace Public Advisory Group page.

About the Public Advisory Group

The NHS Test and Trace Public Advisory Group will bring together people from different backgrounds to inform new policies to help England come out of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The group will work with scientists and public health specialists to look at how we can live and work together safely and move forward together out of these challenging times.

The group will make sure everyone feeds into the work of NHS Test and Trace, especially those most at risk of COVID-19.

The group will produce a report of its recommendations to the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS Test and Trace. This report will be published on GOV.UK.

Ipsos MORI, Imperial College Health Partners and Involve will run the group on behalf of DHSC and NHS Test and Trace.

Who can take part

We wrote to 20,000 households from across England that were randomly selected from Royal Mails address database.

You can take part if youre over 16 and your household received one of these letters. Only one person from a single household can apply.

You dont need to be a science expert to take part. The experts will give you all the information you need at the meetings.

You must be available to attend all 7 online meetings between May and June 2021.

Who cannot take part

You cannot take part if:

  • youre an elected representative
  • youre a paid journalist
  • you have a conflict of interest
  • you did not receive a letter

How group members are selected

The organisers will randomly select 100 people from those who responded to the letter. This process is designed to make sure the group members represent the entire community and are of diverse age, gender and ethnicity.

The registration period closed on 19 April 2021. If youre selected, the organisers will contact you by phone and email on or after Tuesday 20 April 2021.

They will also arrange another call to explain what happens next and talk to you about anything you may need in order to take part.

Anonymised profiles of the 100 people selected will be published, so members of the public can see how the group is represented, but without identifying those taking part.

What youll get for taking part

If you are selected to take part and attend all the sessions, you will receive a total amount of 490 to thank you for your time.

This will be given to you at 2 points throughout the process. The first payment will be made in May 2021 after the first 3 workshops.

You can choose to receive payment as:

  • cash
  • vouchers
  • a combination of both

Cash payments may affect your tax position or benefit entitlement. If youre worried about the cash payments affecting your tax position or benefit entitlement, you can ask for vouchers instead.

You can also contact HM Revenue & Customs and Department for Work and Pensions to find out what it will mean for you before deciding.

We want to encourage everyone to take part, including those on low incomes or with care responsibilities.

Group meetings

The group will meet online over 7 meetings between May and June 2021. Each meeting will last 3 hours.

If you need support to take part

If youre selected, we will try to meet all your needs so you can take part. For example, if you need computer equipment, or support with internet access, or training on how to do video calls.

We will also help if you:

  • have childcare costs
  • have visual or hearing impairments
  • are not confident in speaking English
  • need payment after each meeting to cover time taken off work

Protecting your privacy if you take part

Only the organisers and the other group members will know your identity. Anything you say at the meetings will stay anonymous and you wont be named in the recommendations report.

How personal data is used

Sortition Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, will select group members. They will keep personal data and responses confidential and will only use them to randomly select the members.

The Sortition Foundation will securely pass on your details to Ipsos MORI.??

Ipsos MORI, a specialist research agency, will use personal data to contact members about meetings and events. Ipsos MORI will present contributions to these events as anonymous findings and recommendations to the Public Advisory Group.

Imperial College Health Partners, Involve, the DHSC and NHS Test and Trace will not have access to personal data.?

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