Local support for NHS Test & Trace launches

A NEW service has just gone live to support the national NHS Test and Trace system.

Working from West Sussex County Council’s COVID-19 Community Hub, the service will take on responsibility for contacting individuals across East and West Sussex who have received a positive COVID-19 test result, but were unable to be contacted by the national NHS Test and Trace team within 48 hours.Contact will be made to these individuals via text, phone or email.

The local service will also be on hand to:

  • Provide advice regarding positive test results and requirement to self-isolate;
  • Collect details of the individuals’ contacts during their infectious period and enter them into the national NHS Test and Trace system for the national team to get in contact with;
  • Offer additional support as required, including the wide range of help and advice available from the Community Hub service.

The service will operate between 8am-8pm seven days a week, including public and bank holidays.

Keith Glazier, leader of East Sussex County Council, said: “The ability to trace everyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 is vital in our fight against the virus. We are pleased to be working with West Sussex County Council to deliver a local service which will be invaluable in helping us to increase the effectiveness of the national system.

“We know that many people are often reluctant to answer a phone call from a national number they don’t recognise, and hope a call from a local East Sussex phone number will result in more people being made aware of a positive test result and taking the necessary action to protect others in our community.

“Our residents are doing a fantastic job in following the guidance and keeping themselves and others safe, and we must continue to work together and do everything possible to stop the spread of the virus and bring the pandemic under control.”

Paul Marshall, Leader of West Sussex County Council, added: “Our COVID-19 Community Hub was set-up to support our most vulnerable residents when the pandemic started. The extension of our service to now include support for the national NHS Test and Trace system is another example of how we are doing all we can to keep residents safe and our case numbers down.

“We are also really pleased that our team is supporting our neighbouring county, East Sussex, with their local Test and Trace calls. This strong partnership working highlights how important it is that councils continue to work together to keep residents safe during this challenging time.”

Residents from East Sussex who need to be contacted by the Community Hub will receive a text, call or email from one of the below:

  • Phone: 01323 432466
  • Email: West Sussex County Council Local COVID Tracing Partnership

The Community Hub will then ask individuals for the following details:

  • Their name, date of birth and postcode;
  • If they live with other people;
  • Any places they’ve been recently, such as a workplace or school;
  • Names and contact details of any people they were in close contact with within the 48 hours before their symptoms started (if they know these details).

The Community Hub will NOT:

  • Ask for bank details or payments;
  • Ask for details of any other accounts, such as social media;
  • Ask residents to set up a password or PIN number over the phone;
  • Ask residents to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087.

For further details about the local test and trace system, visit https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/community/emergencyplanningandcommunitysafety/coronavirus/coronavirus-tests-sussex/local-test-and-trace/