22.05.20

Local authorities to receive extra £300m for test and trace services

Local Authorities in England will be supported with an additional £300m in funding to help roll out the new test and trace service.

The Department of Health and Social Care announced today (May 22) that local authorities will be ‘central’ to supporting the new service, and will be asked to develop tailored outbreak control plans, in collaboration with local NHS and other stakeholders.

Work is to begin imminently, focusing on identifying and containing the potential areas of outbreaks in workplaces, housing complexes, care homes and schools.

A close partnership between local authorities, local NHS and other partners will be needed to effectively deploy testing capacity to high-risk locations in their respective areas.

The data collected through the test and trace service will allow specialists to understand how the virus is moving and work with Central Government to access the full capabilities of the new service.

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Minister for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health, Nadine Dorries, said:

“Local authorities will be vital in the effort to contain COVID-19 at a community level. The pandemic requires a national effort but that will only be effective as a result of local authorities, working hand in hand with Public Health England and contact tracers to focus on the containment of local outbreaks, in order to control the transmission and the spread of the virus.

“For contact tracing to be effective when it is rolled out, we will need people to continue to follow guidelines and stay at home if they have symptoms.”

Local leaders and directors of public health will be in charge of leading the service, building on existing coronavirus response measures and working with local hospitals, GP practices, businesses, religious groups, schools and charities.

A new National Local Government Advisory Board will help to share best practice found within local authorities to other communities across the country.

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