Sunderland Test and Trace figures fall again

Sunderland has seen its Covid contact tracing success rate fall for the fourth week running, new figures reveal.

Monday, 26th October 2020, 1:12 pm
Updated Monday, 26th October 2020, 1:24 pm
NHS Test and Trace figures have fallen again

Data from the Department for Health and Social care shows 3,506 people who tested positive for Covid-19 in Sunderland were transferred to the Test and Trace service between May 28 and October 14 – generating 7,983 close contacts.

But the figures show just 63.5% of these were reached and told to self isolate – a figure that has fallen steadily over a four-week period.

Across England, only 57.6% of close contacts were reached by NHS Test and Trace.

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Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association, said it is concerning that the test and trace system is "going backwards".

He added: “If we are to prevent this second wave from escalating further, we need the system to meet the recommended 80% benchmark if it is to have any chance of success."

The Government's chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance has admitted there is "room for improvement" in the NHS Test and Trace system.

He told a Downing Street briefing: “It’s undoubtedly the case that test, trace and isolation becomes much more difficult to have an impact once numbers are high, it’s much more effective when numbers are low.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he shares people's "frustrations" over the turnaround times, admitting that the system needs to improve.

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents trusts across England, said: "These figures provide yet more evidence that the test and trace system is falling short.”