This week's Test and Trace data is deeply concerning

10 September 2020

Commenting on the latest Test and Trace data, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:

“The new data released by Test and Trace is deeply concerning, with the number of positive cases of COVID-19 jumping up by 43% in the last week.

“We are now seeing numbers of positive cases which haven’t been seen since the first peak in April and May.  While the uptake in infection rates isn’t thankfully  being translated into hospital admissions and deaths, it does reflect the broader risk to the public and the need for us all to adhere to social distancing rules.

“Just over four in five of those who tested positive and were transferred to the contact tracing system were reached this week by NHS test and trace, a similar proportion as in previous weeks. The proportion of close contacts reached also remains similar to last week, just below 70%.

“However in a survey over the summer, we found that only one in five NHS trust leaders felt the government had the right approach to testing so far.

“This is for a number of reasons, including a lack of clarity over where responsibilities lie, as well as persistently slow turnaround times for testing, especially when using third party, non NHS, laboratories.

“Trust leaders want a greater role in the management of testing locally, along with more significant involvement for key local partners.

“What we need now is an effective Test and Trace system ahead of winter. An efficient testing system is vital in the fight against COVID-19 and for restoring NHS services.”

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