Comparative analysis of variation in the quality and completeness of local outbreak control plans for SARS-CoV-2 in English local authorities.
BACKGROUND: Local outbreak control plans (LOCPs) are statutory documents produced by local authorities (LAs) across England. LOCPs outline LAs' response to Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID19) outbreaks and the coordination of local resources, data and communication to support outbreak response. LOCPs are therefore crucial in the nation's response to COVID-19. However, there has been no previous systematic assessment of these documents. We performed this study to systematically assess the quality of LOCPs and to offer recommendations of good practice. METHODS: All published LOCPs were assessed for basic characteristics. A framework based on Department of Health and Social Care guidelines was used to assess a random sample of LOCPs. Qualitative analysis was undertaken for LOCPs with highest completeness. RESULTS: Hundred and thirty-seven of 150 LAs publicly published a full LOCP; 9 were drafts. Statistical analysis demonstrated the significant difference between reporting of mainstream schools, care homes and the homeless population and other educational settings, high-risk settings and other vulnerable groups. LOCPs varied in approach when structuring outbreak response information and focused on different areas of outbreak management. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of LAs are publicly accessible. There is significant variation between the reporting of high-risk settings and groups. Suggested recommendations may help to improve future LOCP updates.
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