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NHS Test and Trace public advisory group

About the Public Advisory Group

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS Test and Trace are creating a Public Advisory Group.

The Public Advisory Group will bring together people from different backgrounds to hear from experts, discuss issues and make recommendations that will inform new policies to help England come out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NHS Test and Trace will use the work of the Public Advisory Group along with other activities to ensure that the voices of the public, those who are seldom heard, and those most at risk from COVID-19, also feed in to making new policies. 

Ipsos MORI, Imperial College Health Partners and Involve are working together to organise and run the group on behalf of DHSC and NHS Test and Trace.


What the Public Advisory Group will do

The group will consider how can we live and work together safely given the current and any future viruses. Experts and specialists will present information about the issues to the group.

The group will then discuss the issues at length and make recommendations. DHSC and NHS Test and Trace will use these recommendations to develop new policies which will help the country live and work together safely and move forward together out of these challenging times.

Information about the issues the group discussed and any recommendations will be available from NHS Test and Trace.

The Public Advisory Group and the selection

NHS Test and Trace wrote out to 20,000 households from across England that were randomly selected from Royal Mail’s address database. The organisers will randomly select 100 people from those who respond to the letter. The random selection is weighted to ensure a mix of experience and background to represent the entire country. This includes considering age, gender and ethnicity. All participants are 16 or over.

The following people are not eligible to take part:

• elected representatives
• paid journalists
• if the individual has a conflict of interest
• if the individual does not live in a household that received a letter

Group meetings

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

The dates and times are as follows:

  • Monday 10 May at 6 – 9pm
  • Saturday 15 May at 10am – 1pm
  • Tuesday 18 May at 6 – 9pm
  • Thursday 10 June at 6 – 9pm
  • Saturday 12 June at 10am – 1pm
  • Tuesday 15 June at 6 – 9pm
  • Saturday 19 June at 10am – 1pm

Protecting the privacy of the group

Only the organisers and the other members will know the identity of the group. Anything said at the meetings will stay anonymous and members will not 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 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 at these events as anonymous findings and recommendations from the Public Advisory Group.

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

Next steps after the Public Advisory Group

Ipsos MORI, ICHP and Involve will produce a report of the views and recommendations of the Public Advisory Group to the DHSC and NHS Test and Trace. Their recommendations will inform critical future policy decisions.


For more information

Natalie Hudson
Associate Director of Communications and Engagement, ICHP 

07814 439932
Katie Harrison
Senior Communications Lead, ICHP