The NHS Test and Trace system in England will cut 6,000 staff by the end of August, with the remaining contact tracers working alongside councils’ public health teams to reach more infected people and their contacts in communities, the Government has announced.
The overhauled Test and Trace programme will mean council teams can track down anyone who cannot be reached by the national system after 48 hours, to tell them to self-isolate. All local authorities with public health responsibilities will have dedicated, ring-fenced teams from the national service to support their local activity.
Councils have already made a success of their own contact-tracing programmes in areas including Blackburn with Darwen, Luton and Leicester.
LGA Chairman Cllr James Jamieson said: “A strong national and local partnership is critical for Test and Trace to work as effectively as possible, and it is right that local resources are kept under constant review to ensure everyone involved is able to help stop the virus spreading further.
“Using councils’ unrivalled local knowledge and vast experience of contact tracing within local public health teams is vital in the Government’s national efforts.”
The LGA is working with Dr Carolyn Wilkins OBE, Oldham’s Chief Executive and the national tracing lead, and colleagues in NHS Test and Trace on the design of the proposed approach to contact tracing.