UK government announces shift from centralised system to local contact tracing
Following trials in Leicester, Luton, and Blackburn with Darwen, the UK government will assign teams of health care professionals to more than ten local authorities and offer them Public Health England’s near real-time data on infections and a dedicated team of contact tracers, shifting away from its £10 billion centralised national system run under contract by Serco. As of early August, the Serco scheme was still failing to reach a significant proportion of those who had been in close contact with an infected person. Councils are required to sign a data protection agreement before they are allowed to access patient-identifiable data.
Writer: Josh Halliday, Niamh McIntyre, and Peter Walker