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Communication and engagement

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 is currently derived from central government and Public Health England (PHE) the interpretation and the localisation of the main messaging has often been required.

There are existing communication protocols and material in place between PHE, local authorities and partners to ensure clarity and consistency of messages in response to an outbreak, such as letters to parents following a confirmed case in a school.

Ensuring there is consistency in messaging from important local organisations is vital to avoid confusion and to build trust and confidence.

There are established close working arrangements with key partners in agreeing and communicating proactive, timely coronavirus messages within the Local Resilience Forum Warning and Informing Group and under the Team Devon communication channels and connections.

Devon County Council is using a number of existing communication channels to deliver coronavirus messages both internally and externally including:

  • the ConnectMe e-newsletter
  • regular messages from the Chief Executive
  • social media content
  • a Team Devon newspaper
  • dedicated webpages

Engaging and involving stakeholders and individuals in the development and delivery of messages will continue to be a crucial part of the plan.

A communication lead sits on the Local Outbreak Health Protection Board and Local Outbreak Engagement Board to support them in an advisory capacity.

A communications and engagement strategy has been developed as part of this plan to build trust and confidence within the general public and partners.  A key part of this plan is regular social media updates and a weekly CCG chair and Director of Public Health video.

The police are a key partner on the Health Protection Board and provide regular updates on compliance and enforcement utilising the 4 Es approach of:

  • engage
  • explain
  • encourage
  • enforce

While there is a high degree of compliance within Devon, enforcement does feature as one of the 4 E’s and through working with key partners, Environmental Health, Trading Standards and police guidance, advice and where necessary penalty notices have been issued.

Communication materials

We have developed a series of graphics and posters for use across channels. Please feel free to use them to help spread the message and keep people safe in Devon.

Coronavirus information is also available in alternative formats and languages.