The Kent Local Tracing Partnership goes live on Friday 27 November, supporting the national Test and Trace service to locate residents who’ve tested positive for Covid-19.
The local system will continue to support the NHS Test and Trace service, using the experience of the Kent Together helpline with KCC commissioned call handlers contacting people that the Government Test and Trace system has not been able to reach within 24 hours.
Once contacted, the advisors will be able to give advice on isolation and testing, establish close contacts, upload details to the National Contact Tracing system, and signpost to assistance available such as financial or practical in terms of supplies of food and medication.
KCC is also working with the 12 district and borough councils across Kent to enhance contact tracing where required; for instance, if a contact tracer has not been able to reach a person by telephone then a district council member of staff may go round to the resident’s home to pass on the information.
KCC Leader Roger Gough said: “We have long urged for local delivery of this service and are pleased to take this forward. This local delivery will support the national Test and Trace service at this vital time. It’s an incredibly complex service and it is another great example of how we are working with our partners in the district councils to support our residents during this pandemic.
“If you receive a call, you will be asked that you fully understand the isolation guidelines and that you note all contacts you’ve had in recent days. We understand that residents might feel concerned about this but we’d like to reassure everyone that we recognise that we will be dealing with sensitive information; it is imperative that people work with us, as this is the best possible way to contact residents who are at risk and to reduce the spread of cases in our community.”
KCC Director of Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark added: “We welcome any additional ways for people to get tested and are also involved in the rollout of rapid tests. By contacting people with a positive test result, we can work more effectively to manage community outbreaks and try to keep the number of cases low – it is crucial that we support the NHS and essential services over the next few months, and that we protect the most vulnerable members of the community – especially the elderly or those with long term medical condition, who are most at risk from severe symptoms.
“In the meantime, the most important thing we can all do is to continue to follow the social distancing guidelines, download the NHS Test and Trace app, and if people are contacted by either the NHS or local Test and Trace service, or they develop Covid symptoms, they must self-isolate.”
The service will run 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm Saturday and Sunday and will come from a local number. Residents are being reminded that the genuine NHS Test and Trace Service and Kent Local Tracing Partnership will never:
- Ask for bank account details, passwords or PIN numbers
- Ask for a payment or to buy a product
- Ask you to download any software
- Ask you to call a premium rate number to speak to the NHS (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
- Disclose any of your personal or medical information to your contacts.
Anyone asked these types of questions should report the incident to KCC Trading Standards. Any council staff attending your home will also have identification which will be presented.
For more information regarding the Kent Local Tracing Partnership, go to www.kent.gov.uk/localtracing
You can also find information about outbreak plans at www.kent.gov.uk/protectkent