New Brighton and Hove Contact Tracing service to prevent virus spread
The council is creating its own contact tracing service in order to help halt the spread of Covid-19 in our city.
Since December, local contact tracers at the Brighton and Hove Community Hub have worked alongside NHS Track and Trace service, finding people that could not be reached through the national system.
With cases in the city rising, the council is now enhancing this service and recruiting more people to the local team.
The council’s Policy and Resources Recovery Sub-Committee was due to approve the creation of the service at a meeting yesterday (Thursday) and allocate it £300,000 from the Contain Outbreak Management Fund grant awarded by the Government.
Councillor Phelim Mac Cafferty, leader of Brighton and Hove Council, said: “Local public health teams have a proven track record across the country in helping to trace positive Covid-19 cases and identify their close contacts, where the national service has too often failed.
“This is despite the government spending billions on private companies like Serco and Sitel to do the work – when this funding could have been better spent on local teams, with their proven local knowledge which they use for things like food poisoning outbreaks.”
He said in-depth local knowledge was ‘the key’ to helping identify hard-to-reach cases.
“Public health protection teams have real experience doing this – which is why across the country, local contact tracers have been so much more effective,” he said.
“In Brighton & Hove, our initial pilot of local contact tracing showed an increase in the number of cases reached, really enhancing the national offer.
“I’ve already joined campaigns pushing government to recognise that local terms deserve more resources and support to build on this work – as we know with cases rising that it’s absolutely key we continue to self-isolate.
“This is a key way we will stop the spread of Covid-19, and protect ourselves and our loved ones before it spreads further.”