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Mark Ward

Mark is European Operations Director at Star OUTiCO.

4 August 2022

The end of July coincided with the conclusion of the Star OUTiCO contribution to the COVID-19 Infection Survey project, and what an incredible contribution we have made. Some of the stats that showcase our efforts are superb, but they only tell some of the story of a project that has grown to a size no one could have imagined when we started during lockdown April 2020.

In fact, those first few months of the project when lockdown was in full operational mode, there were some days where this team were some of the only people out on the roads. It seems such a long time ago but what a job this team have done.

the stats that showcase our efforts are superb, but they only tell some of the story of a project that has grown to a size no one could have imagined when we started during lockdown April 2020.

Mark Ward

The stats relating to the programme are quite incredible:

  • PROJECT – 11.5 million total samples
  • Star OUTiCO – 1,219,088 participants sampled
  • Star OUTiCO – 621,726 – households visited
  • 1,064 people employed across the full length of the project
  • An error rate of only 2.4%

Key Operational Highlights

  • Asked by the organiser to recruit 300 additional employees to the project in December 2021 due to strong performance
  • Leading body requested a presentation of Star OUTiCO operations in the project due to strongest performance across all partners
  • Support line team built from the study worker population to give 24/7 help to our Star OUTiCO employees. To date the support line has handled 17,774 calls since it began on 1st September 2021

Without doubt the most satisfying part of this programme has been that we have been able to offer employment to so many people when times were so tough. Theatre staff, cabin crew, hospitality, and events people – all facing the prospect of no income, thrust into a new role, a new way of working and a role that would give so much satisfaction. Many remain with us today and have played their part in both the Star OUTiCO and countries successful battle against COVID.

Without doubt the most satisfying part of this programme has been that we have been able to offer employment to so many people when times were so tough.

Mark Ward

We have also been able to move people from this COVID programme into the core business, adding talented people to our client teams, our Clinical Cube business unit, and our Employee Engagement Sales Management team. Furthermore, we have been able to retain the talents of several staff who are developing those new skills that served them so well in new roles within the business.

It has been a true team effort.

The unsung heroes in our HR, Finance, Business Support, and Recruitment teams have worked tirelessly to adapt processes, manage timelines, develop systems that have enabled us to be effective while continuing the desire of both exceptional employee and client experience.

Having worked in the programme from day one, initially driving performance and improvements, more latterly in a consultative role, I am immensely proud of the hard work and dedication of our results-driven team that came together during the toughest of times, rolled sleeves up and got on with the job and evolved the programme to what it is today.

It will leave an incredible legacy within this business and everyone who has helped in any small way should feel really satisfied of a job well done.


Connect with Mark on LinkedIn here.

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