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Theme 1: Preparedness
Research projects within the preparedness theme will focus on optimising preparedness of both responders and members of the public in the event that a mass emergency or disaster occurs. Preparedness exercises and preparedness-based risk communication often lack empirical grounding and effective evaluation. We will implement empirically-grounded approaches to enhance existing preparedness work across different interventions, scenarios and target groups.
Work with emergency responders will focus on developing our research on improving UKHSA's programme of emergency exercises, for example by testing whether additional follow-up with healthcare workers improves how much they learn. Additionally, we will work closely with emergency responders to understand challenges to interoperability and identify ways to overcome these.
Work with members of the public will examine how risk perceptions and behavioural responses to health threats vary amongst different population groups, and will identify and test ways to help UKHSA educate the public (including children and minority groups) about risks that would have a severe impact if they occurred, such as chemical terrorism.