Council staff join local Track & Trace efforts to improve results

Blackburn with Darwen Council has announced it has developed local systems for contact tracing and council staff will now join in the contact tracing system, where the national system has not been successful.

The Council has developed a locally supported contact tracing system which will see Council staff support efforts to find people who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

The council will use their local knowledge if the national process has been unable to contact someone.

If the national system cannot make contact with a local resident after two days, their details will be passed onto the local service to help find additional contacts.

If the team can’t get through to the resident by email, text or phone after another 48 hours, our local Contact Tracing team will visit you and give you details of who you can call.

Residents will be given advice and guidance to help them isolate for the required length of time. The officer will also ask if the resident needs any support or help delivered through BwD Help Hub.

Paul Fleming, Director of Business Change and the senior officer leading the development of the new system, said:

Test and trace is a vital part of the national strategy to get the virus under control. It is even more vital in areas like ours where we have a rising tide of cases. Our system complements the national system because we have the local knowledge of the area and the ability to send officers round to people’s addresses. Our system is also beneficial because we can refer those who need to isolate to local support services if necessary.

Our system has already gone live and we are already seeing its benefits as we have managed to contact people the national system couldn’t.

I want to ask all residents to continue to work with us, continue to follow our advice and guidance and continue to take responsibility.

Together we will beat the virus.

Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of the Council, said:

Once again we see how local government, with its knowledge and connection to the local area, can rise to the challenge and deliver for our residents.

I am proud that we have designed and delivered an effective and efficient local system to complement the national programme very quickly. Once again the Council has shown local leadership in our battle against this terrible virus.

A step by step guide to how the system work:

  • If the national service is unable to make contact with you after 2 days they will now refer your details into our new, local BwD contact tracing team.
  • BwD will receive a list of people to contact daily at 12pm and access to the national system to input the contact tracing information into. The national system is called NHS Test and Trace.
  • The BwD team will try to contact you by using different numbers and emails we hold to improve our chances. A local Blackburn number shows up when we call you. Information is on the website here to tell you how things work and assure you it’s not a scam.
  • If BwD can’t contact you through phone/SMS/email after another 48 hours we will send someone from our local Public Protection team to your address to speak to you.
  • We will provide advice to you, get details of your ‘contacts’ and update the national CTAS system, from there the national process and service picks back up to contact the people you’ve been in contact with. The loop currently ends there for us in BwD.
  • We will also see if you need any support or help through our Help Hub – this could be around support to shop for food, get medication, debt advice etc.

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