Title: Understanding the relationship between the uptake of Covid-19 testing and deprivation
Authors: Doris Behrens - Aneurin Bevan University Health Board / Cardiff University (United Kingdom) [presenting]
Dan Davies - Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (United Kingdom)
William Beer - Public Health Wales (United Kingdom)
Daniel Westwood - Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (United Kingdom)
Eryl Powell - Public Health Wales (United Kingdom)
Abstract: Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) provides Primary, Secondary, Community and Mental Health Services for 630,000 people in South-East Wales. ABUHB hosts both the nation's most affluent and most deprived areas and the health board is part of the region that was (and still is) one of the UK's Covid-19 hot spots. Understanding the relationship between local Covid-19 testing rates and deprivation is thus of utmost importance for decision-making and the planning of localised Public Health interventions to confine the spread of the disease in this heterogeneous society. The findings derived by a combination of Geographical Analytics, Statistical Process Control and Inferential Statistics busted some myths concerning the uptake of testing. Moreover, they provided intelligence about where to set up targeted interventions to overcome inequalities and inadequacies in access to services. In response, ABUHB established sampling facilities which allow low vehicle ownership groups to walk up to the testing site. Areas with large populations of foreign descent received bespoke support in a range of languages. Additionally, Mobile Testing Units (MTU) have been deployed throughout ABUHB to improve further the accessibility of testing within areas of high prevalence. As a next step, outreach teams will support those fellow-citizens which are traditionally hardest to reach.