An operational plan for the delivery of locally supported contact tracing has been developed by the Directors of Public Health (DsPH) in Cheshire & Merseyside (C&M).
Locally supported contact tracing is a service provided by Local Authorities and Public Health England to trace people who have tested positive for COVID-19 but who the national test and trace have not been able to contact for a variety of reasons e.g. they have not provided any details to the track and trace service or the contact details are incorrect. The Local Authority will use local methods to contact the case and give them the advice they need as well as gather intelligence and contact details for people they have been in contact with.
It is essential to trace and contact all the confirmed cases and their contacts to prevent further transmission and outbreaks of COVID-19.If the national Contact Tracing Advisory Service (CTAS) does not successfully trace a case within 24 hours of the positive test result, it is considered lost to follow up.
All C&M local authorities are considering participation and a Champs task group, chaired by Sam Ghebrehewet (C&M Health protection lead) with the PHE national lead and local authority reps has been established.
Liverpool Council went live with the service last week and both Knowsley Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council will go live this week. The local authorities have ensured that local staff have gone through national training and will have access to the national database.
C&M DsPH remain concerned about the resources that are required to undertake this new additional task and are lobbying for national resources to be made available. They have expressed that C&M Local Authorities will not be able to provide consistent and sustainable service without additional resources.