Martin Ford 11 December 2020

Boost to local test and trace funding

Boost to local test and trace funding  image

The Government has promised to increase council test and trace funding by up to £200m per month following criticism from the National Audit Office (NAO).

It has pledged to ‘enhance the role of local teams and directors of public health’ and support every upper-tier local authority to build its own capacity and ‘focus particularly on vulnerable or harder-to-engage groups’.

The announcement comes as the NAO publishes an interim report that found councils felt they were being 'held back from developing their own arrangements by lack of funding’.

Head of the NAO, Gareth Davies, said: ‘It [test and trace] must improve its performance with a focus on effective engagement with the public and integration with local efforts to improve tracing.’

The NAO report urged the Government to ‘understand what local authority capacity and funding are required’ and work closely with councils on self-isolating.

Chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, said: ‘As we battle to get through this winter and reduce transmission of the virus, it is essential that the Government enables these successful local schemes to be built on to address the current limitations of the national test and trace system.’

Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Meg Hillier, added: ‘The Government tried to reinvent the wheel when it centralised testing and tracing, tearing up the usual accountability arrangements and leaving local public health teams out in the cold.’

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson responded that the service was now reaching 85.7% of contacts nationally.

They added: ‘We know there is more to do, and yesterday we published the NHS business plan, setting out the next phase of improvement for the service, and how we will increase the speed and reach of testing and tracing even further.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Principal Human Resources Adviser

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£37722 - £40869 per annum
Principal Human Resources Adviser - 1 year Fixed Term ContractRoyal Greenwich is ambitious in its commitment to residents and to service delivery. We' England, London, Woolwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Network Architect

Camden London Borough Council
Competitive Salary
The job holder will require a good understanding of security & connectivity practices in the context of Cloud services preferably Microsoft Azure. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Transport Development Officer

North Yorkshire County Council
£39,880 - £43,857 per annum
A flexible working offer that allows you to have a true work/life balance. Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Recycling Manager

Camden London Borough Council
£41,952 - £48,663
The position sits within the North London Waste Authority’s (NLWA’s) Strategy and Services team, managing... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Traffic Management Officer - Carlisle

Cumbria County Council
£31.346 - £32.234
This role involves working within the traffic team liaising with members of the public and councillors agreeing and... Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue