Hounslow Council has launched a local COVID-19 contact tracing system to back up NHS Test and Trace and help to get coronavirus under control in Hounslow.
In partnership with Public Health England and the NHS Test and Trace Programme, the new system will see council staff support efforts to locate people who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
The nationwide Test and Trace programme is designed to help limit the spread of the virus. It contacts people who have tested positive to provide public health information on isolating for 10 days and to identify any people who they may have been in close contact with during the infectious period. The team then notifies the close contacts to provide public health information and inform them to self-isolate for 14 days from the date they were last with the infected person.
If, after 24 hours, the national Test and Trace team has been unable to get in touch with a specific Hounslow resident, their details will be passed to the local service - this means that Hounslow Council will be able to use local knowledge and expertise to reach residents and help to control the spread of coronavirus. The new localised, One Hounslow approach aims to enhance the national programme and help to control the spread of coronavirus in the community.
Contacted residents will be given advice and guidance to help them self-isolate for the time required. They will also as be asked if Hounslow Council's Community Hub can support in any way, such as with food deliveries, collecting medication or debt advice.
Kelly O’Neill, Director of Public Health said:
“Our local contact tracing service exists to support the national test and trace system. Test and trace is an extremely important part of the national strategy to get COVID-19 under control.
"Our service complements the national system because we have local knowledge and the experience of working with residents during the initial wave. Our experience working with the shielding list and community hub will ensure residents who test positive have everything they need to isolate including referring anybody who needs to self-isolate to local support services if necessary.
"For it to be effective in preventing the spread of the virus, people need to provide details of their close contacts. Any close contacts who hear from the service must follow the advice and self-isolate to contain the virus and protect others.”
How Hounslow Local Contact Tracing works:
- If the national NHS Track and Trace service is unable to contact you after one day, your details will be passed to the new Hounslow local contact tracing team.
- The local contact tracing team will receive a list of people to contact every day and is granted access to the national system, in which to input the required information.
- We will first send a SMS message in the morning to let you know that we will try to call you later that day.
- We’ll call from 02070 849702. The team will call to offer any support and assistance with food, medication or income support you may need in order to isolate and to obtain details of your ‘contacts’ to update the national test and trace system.
- From there, the national team will pick back up to contact the people you’ve been in contact with to let them know and offer public health advice one what to do. They will not give your details to any contacts.
More information about the national NHS Test and Trace system is available on the GOV.uk website