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People who have been in close contact with a Covid-19 carrier could receive a knock on the door from contact tracers as the government looks to improve its “world beating” programme.
Last week, HuffPost UK reported how councils were setting up their own tracing procedures to plug holes in the national NHS Test and Trace system, which was only reaching 68% of contacts in some areas.
Councils described how they were using local knowledge, including language skills, to contact hard to reach communities who were being missed by the one-size-fits-all national system.
Read More: Why NHS Test And Trace Isn’t Working
Now, the government has announced it will reinforce these local teams in order to reach more contacts, redeploying 6,000 of the 18,000 contact tracers from the national systems to local test and trace schemes.
Following local programmes that have already been set up in areas such as Blackburn, Calderdale and Sandwell, the local tracing teams will use data from the NHS Test and Trace scheme to chase up people that national tracers have not been able to reach.
In some areas, local tracers have visited people at home if they have been unable to get hold of them by other methods.
Dido Harding, who is the head of the NHS Test and Trace programme, said: “NHS Test and Trace is one of the largest contact tracing and testing systems anywhere in the world, and was built rapidly, drawing on the UK’s existing health protection networks, to stop the spread of coronavirus.
“We have always been clear that NHS Test and Trace must be local by default and that we do not operate alone – we work with and through partners across the country.
“As we learn more about the spread of the disease, we are able to move to our planned next step and become even more effective in tackling the virus.”
The move comes after official figures released last week...