Martin Ford 16 October 2020

Counties warn of test and trace ‘missed opportunity’

Counties warn of test and trace ‘missed opportunity’ image

Calls for more support for local contact tracing have been redoubled after the national system’s success rate plummeted.

Latest statistics show the level of contacts traced by the national system dropped to 57.6% in the week ending October 7 – the lowest weekly figure recorded so far.

Local test and trace teams successfully traced 97.7% in the same period.

Councils have demanded control over the system across the board after local systems consistently outperformed the national counterpart.

Currently, additional flexibility and support has only been offered to councils in the worst-affected areas in the ‘very high’ alert tier.

County Councils' Network (CCN) health and social care spokesman, Cllr David Fothergill, said: ‘Centralised tracing efforts are no substitute for public health teams’ local knowledge and expertise.

‘We urge the government to give local authorities the ability to take over test and trace in their areas rather than just the areas with the most severe rises in cases.’

CCN chairman Cllr David Williams added: ‘If only the areas that are on high alert are allowed to take over test and trace efforts then this will have been a huge missed opportunity.

‘Counties are ready to roll this out quickly – but this should be for all areas rather than ones with the highest cases in recognition that it will be a truly national effort that will suppress the virus.’

The Local Government Association (LGA) is pressing for access to more data on cases, in addition to increased funding and recruitment of extra personnel.

Chairman of the LGA’s community wellbeing board, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, said: ‘Councils are taking the lead by launching their own locally-supported contact tracing arrangements, to complement the national system, but they need clearer, more precise information on who they should be trying to contact as soon as possible.

‘This should include details such as occupation and workplace, working with police and others to share local intelligence.’

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - Early Interventions

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
Social Worker - Early Interventions Permanent, Full Time £32,065 - £43,839 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Local Linked Support Team

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
This is a full time fixed term contract for 12 month or a 12 month Secondment.About the RoleThis is a community-based role within the Harlow area. You England, Essex, Epping
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Property and Projects Lawyer

Brent Council
£43,860 - £49,827 p.a. inc.(pro rata)
The successful candidate will have the opportunity to supervise junior staff and deputise in the absence of the Senior Property Lawyer. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Training and Quality Assurance Specialist

Essex County Council
Up to £26801 per annum
The OpportunityEssex Registration Service is one of the largest authorities in the Country, serving thousands of customers in the Registration of Bir England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Business Support Officer

Camden London Borough Council
We have recently changed the way that we work so that we are more responsive to... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough 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