The NHS test and trace system in England is cutting 6,000 staff

Posted: August 16th 2020


Articles like this give me pause for thought about a tough winter in prospect. It tells us:

The remaining contact tracers will work alongside local public health teams to reach more infected people and their contacts in communities.

It comes after criticism that the national system was not tapping into local knowledge.

The approach has been used in virus hotspots like Blackburn and Luton.

And it's now being offered to all councils that are responsible for public health in their area.

Test and trace is staffed by NHS clinicians and people who were trained to become contact tracers during the pandemic.

NHS staff who offer advice to people who have tested positive for coronavirus will not be laid off.

But the national service will shrink from 18,000 contact tracers to 12,000 with the remaining non-NHS call handlers redeployed as part of dedicated local test and trace teams, the Department of Health says.

This means local areas will have "ring-fenced teams" from the national test and trace service.

Another 200 walk-in testing centres will also open by October.