The Isle of Wight IW Green Party is calling on the Government to share details of how they will measure the success of the Contact Tracing App, being launched on the Island this week.
In a letter to the Secretary of State for Health, and the Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely, the Isle of Wight Green Party spokesperson, Vix Lowthion, asks for the Government to share the success criteria for the second phase of the ‘test, track and trace’ programme.
Vix Lowthion said,
“The launch of the app trial on the Isle of Wight this week has created much interest both locally and nationally. The government have talked of their confidence that it will be ‘a great success on the Isle of Wight’ but have not yet shared their vision of what success will look like in a measurable way.
“Mr Hancock had great success with his target for 100,000 tests by the end of April, and I know he would also again like to set similar clear criteria for the trial on the Isle of Wight.
“I am sure that when they share their end goals for the trial, this will really help the public rally around the government’s plan.”
OnTheWight has asked the Government for details of how they will be measuring success and will update once we hear back from them.
Copy of letter to Matt Hancock and Bob Seely
Dear Mr Hancock and Mr Seely,
Thank you both for showing such a firm belief in the people of the Isle of Wight to make our contribution to the national fight against coronavirus. I am certain that they will not let you down.
I note that at the Downing Street briefing and on Radio 4, you have both spoken of your confidence that the NHSX app ‘will be a great success on the Isle of Wight’. I do not doubt your sincerity. We should be ambitious for the trial, but also be clear in what we are hoping to achieve and what success will look like so that we can judge when it has arrived. Mr Hancock had great success with his target for 100,000 tests by the end of April, and I know he would also again like to set similar clear criteria for the trial on the Isle of Wight.
Please could you identify what the success criteria are for this trial, as I am sure that this would really help the public rally around the government’s plan a lot more.
- Is success going to be measured by the number of Islanders who will install and run the app? How many people are you hoping for? I note Mr Seely talks about 20% of the population being statistically useful and 50% of more medical use. Could we be given a target so we know whether the trial has been a success?
- Is success measured through whether the app functions effectively? Is the trial to check that there are no glitches or bugs, that the Bluetooth low energy is user friendly, and that the public find it a good application to have installed. If so, how will this be measured? Will there be a survey for islanders to complete and will the results of this be published?
- Is success going to be measured by a reduced number of positive tests on the Isle of Wight? As Mr Seely has put it on Sky News, a ‘reduction in the R curve’ ie to slow the spread of the virus? If so, how will this be measured and published, and will there be greater access to coronavirus tests on the Isle of Wight for everyone who has installed the app on their device?
- Is success going to be measured by a reduced number of deaths on the Isle of Wight? If so, over what time period will this trial be continuing? And will there be a concerted effort to ensure that people particularly in care homes install and use the app?
- Are there other success criteria that you are considering and wish to share, such as amount of data produced by the app or adherence to lockdown regulations?
I know you both appreciate that clarity of purpose and intent is critical when leading the public through a crisis period.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to receiving your response as soon as possible,
Spokesperson, Isle of Wight Green Party