Supporting Oxfordshire County Council’s COVID-19 response
Providing IT project delivery support during the third national lockdown
Responding to the government programme to deploy local COVID-19 symptom-free testing centres, Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) reacted quickly and through a rapid deployment with district council partners, established four testing centres across Oxfordshire in under two months. We were commissioned by OCC to provide project delivery support for the IT aspects of these testing centres.
A large cross-organisational team, composed of OCC, the NHS and district councils, was set up to plan and action the COVID-19 response. Our role within this group was to provide support for the IT and technical elements of the different workstreams. Consequently, we acted as an interface between the partner organisations and different IT suppliers.
To enable a smooth delivery process, it was vital that we understood the IT Service touchpoints between OCC and the NHS and defined the responsibilities of each. Microsoft Forms were used for daily reporting and comms channels were established via Teams and group email boxes.
In order that the testing centres could be established a number of activities were undertaken:
- Developing the concept booking system to make it ready for use. This included a visualisation of the system and booking page process
- Data capture was enabled to support weekly reporting needs, and customer response emails were implemented
- Leading the IT set up for each centre, which included the procurement of tablets and devices. Data protection was a big consideration across all aspects of delivery
Starting with a soft launch in February we project managed the IT services required for four centres in total. Community Collect facilities were added to these centres to facilitate the collection of home testing kits for households with nursery, primary and secondary school and college-aged children.
We also coordinated the development work and operational flows to support the roll-out of surge testing in the community should it be required.
A critical element to the project has been our ability to continually manage the rapid pace of change initiated by government messaging.
- Delivered project management to support the launch of IT services to support four fully operational asymptomatic test centres within a two-month period
- Provided OCC with the ability to support identified groups to test before entering the workplace
- Managed the development of an online booking system
- Oversaw the implementation of IT in each testing centre
- Ensured all aspects of delivery were fully compliant with the Data Protection Act
- Developed a surge testing process to be implemented if required to help identify and reduce the spread of any variants of concern in Oxfordshire
- Supported the Community Collect scheme
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