Laura Sharman 11 May 2020

Councils call for access to data for effective contact tracing

Crucial data must be shared with councils in order for effective contact tracing to take place, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said.

The LGA is calling on the Government to share information with councils to ensure national efforts to track and trace coronavirus succeed.

This includes access to testing results, hospitalisation records, death certificates, personal details of contacts, and NHS 111 symptomatic data by postcode.

The LGA also said councils would be able to identify Covid-19 hotspots if the data included unique property reference numbers (UPRNs).

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: ‘Covid-19 is best understood as a pattern of local outbreaks, rather than a national pandemic with a similar impact in every community. To help councils understand where the outbreaks are happening and be able to act quickly to contain them, government needs to share vital and up-to-date data with them alongside other agencies.

’While the expected nationwide rollout of the NHS Covid-19 app will be useful, there are some areas in different communities where an app simply cannot reach. This is where councils can step in and make the most of their role as local public health leaders, but they need all the tools at their disposal to help do so.’

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