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Contact Tracing: Computer Software

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 16th June 2020.

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Photo of Dawn Butler Dawn Butler Labour, Brent Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people by (a) age, (b) disability, (c) race and (d) sex are being interviewed or surveyed on the Isle of Wight to understand their experience of using the NHS covid-19 contract tracing app; whether his Department has made an assessment of whether those people being so interviewed or surveyed are representative of the diversity of the UK; if he will place a copy of the methodology for those interviews or surveys in the Library; and whether that methodology was reviewed by the NHS COVID-19 App Data Ethics Advisory Board.

Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

In order to support the evaluation of the Isle of Wight rollout of the Test and Trace programme, the Department commissioned the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) to conduct a survey of Isle of Wight residents. The objective was to deliver a representative survey exploring experiences of using the National Health Service COVID-19 app, virology testing and public health contact tracing. The details and results of this survey will be published on the GOV.UK website in mid-June together with a report on the Isle of Wight phase evaluation.

This push-to-web survey of Isle of Wight residents aged 16+ included NatCen’s standard demographics questions including age, sex and ethnicity but not disability. In addition, many rounds of user research and testing have been conducted throughout the development of the app, with people of different ages, genders, ethnicities, socio-economic status, and digital skills, to ensure it meets the needs of different groups.

We will always comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty, which considers the impact of a policy or decision on groups with protected characteristics, and we have carried out an Equality and Health Impact Assessment.

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