Leicester shows NHS Covid-19 test and trace working, says Harding | News from the world


According to Dido Harding, who runs the program, the Covid-19 epidemic in Leicester was identified because of the NHS test and traceability program, but not in spite of it.”It was precisely through the NHS test and trace that we were able to identify this epidemic early and take the right action,” said Harding. “We have been working closely with local health protection teams and local authorities for the past few weeks.”

They had deployed additional mobile test units in Leicester, “If you hadn’t had an NHS test and operational monitoring, no one would have known it was necessary.”

She rebutted suggestions that Leicester city council had called Public Health England for help because they did not have enough data from community tests carried out by commercial companies that were part of the test and trace. NHS.

“If you look at the chronology, in the past three weeks, what we have seen is the local council and the test and field monitoring teams, identifying that there was a problem, that the prevalence of the disease in Leicester was significantly higher than in other parts of the country, “she said.


On June 8 and 15, Public Health England, which handles the most complex test and trace cases, shared data with the Leicester board, she said, and they all participated in a roundtable on June 17. The next day, they sent a mobile test unit, and as of June 28, there were four more in the city.

All local authorities have now received detailed data on positive patients, subject to the signing of data protection agreements. Leicester accessed their data on June 25, she said.

On May 18, Matt Hancock announced that screening for coronaviruses would be extended in the UK to anyone over the age of five with symptoms.

Prior to that date, eligibility was limited to a series of groups including key workers, people over the age of 65, people who could not work from home, or people who lived with someone belonging to one of these groups.

People with symptoms can now use the gov.uk website to book home test kits or appointments at driving centers across the country.

“I think the system is working,” she said. “Does it work perfectly perfectly?” No of course not. It is a month-long NHS test and trace service. There was still a lot to learn, but Leicester showed they were able to take “much more targeted action”, not just national action.

Data for the week of June 18-24 showed that a quarter of people tested positive in England still did not give contact details of people they met in the past two days to contact tracers, said Harding. “We are doing a lot to improve the functioning of contact tracers, we learn what time of day is most effective in contacting people, we constantly test different messages on emails and texts and understand how to sort of connect with the people in their lives, “she said.

Confirmed cases in the UK

Public Health England data on


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