Doncaster Council to take on track and trace for people missed by Government programme
The council will take on Covid-19 track and trace systems in the borough for people missed by the Government programme, bosses have said.
The NHS Test and Trace system has come under some criticism as data shows it only manages to contact around 60 per cent of people they need to alert to potential Covid-19 exposure.
The government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has recommended that at least 80 per cent of close contacts of positive cases must be reached for the system to be effective.
The NHS Test and Trace (NHSTT) system aims to control the spread of Covid-19 in England by ensuring that people can be tested when necessary, and by identifying close contacts of people who have tested positive and asking them to self-isolate.
Due to the less than optimum contact rate, some opposition politicians have called for test and trace resources to be given to local authorities.
Dr Rupert Suckling, director of public health at Doncaster Council, has previously said a ‘partnership approach’ would be more beneficial and added that his team will start to do this in the coming weeks.
Dr Suckling said with the resources they have, they will be able to carry out around 1,000 contact tracing calls a week across Doncaster.
He also welcomed the additional testing as Doncaster was chosen to have an initial 10,000 rapid Covid-19 lateral flow tests which can return a result in less than one hour.
“It’s good that we’re getting good additional testing not only for specific asymptomatic people but for NHS staff, in prisons and for those in care homes,” he said.
“Our challenge is not only to bring that all together but also any positive tests get fed through to Test and Trace appropriately.
“To support Test and Trace, we’ve got a timeline now to take over what’s called local contact tracing for those people where Test and Trace haven’t been able to get hold of.
“The risk of testing and contact tracing is likely to reduce and we’ve worked with the team to free up the capacity to undertake around 1,000 contact tracing calls a week.”