A local solution to test and trace that gives local people protection. The deficiencies of the National Test and Trace system are being highlighted on a daily basis, but with little detailed discussion of how it could be improved. Many countries that have performed much better than the UK have been clear that effective contact tracing and isolation is at the heart of their control of the pandemic, but recent statements from those responsible for setting up this service suggest that in this country it is being put into the “too difficult to do” box.
West Yorkshire is one of the “Covid hotspots” and Calderdale has been subject to local restrictions since the end of July. In response, the local authority has been running a locally enhanced contact tracing service, to get in touch with people that the national service has been unable to contact and to support them with the practical assistance often required to help them isolate themselves while potentially contagious. This is taking place in the backyard of the Chair of DFNHS, who is a member of this local team.
This blog post, written by Jenny Shepherd of 999 Call for the NHS, makes clear why it makes sense to redirect our test and trace strategy to one that includes a central role for local clinicians and public health services, rather than treating them as an afterthought.