Test and Trace - Local Contact Tracing Service

The council has set up a local contact tracing service in order to complement the national NHS Test and Trace service. 

Contact tracers from our local service will only contact residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 but have not been successfully contacted by the national NHS Test and Trace system within 24 hours. This may reduce the delay between a person testing positive for COVID-19 and a contact tracing call successfully taking place, potentially reducing further transmission within the community.

The service will operate seven days a week between 10am – 4pm.

Residents can read more about the local contact tracing service, and the partnership with the national system on Public Health England blog.

Residents contacted by the local service

  • If you are contacted by one of our local contact tracers, they will first confirm they are speaking to the correct resident.
  • If the resident is under 18 years old, the local contact tracer will ask to speak with either a parent, or guardian who is aged over 18 years old. However, if the child is 16 or 17 years old and a parent or guardian is not present, or the young person lives independently, the local contact tracer will continue the call directly without seeking permission from the parent or guardian.
  • The local service will provide those residents contacted with advice and information on support services available.
  • The local contact tracer will also ask about the resident’s activities and contact with others in the days preceding their test or symptoms. Contact details of recent close contacts will be requested and shared with NHS Test and Trace, who will contact these individuals with self-isolation guidance. Your identity will be kept confidential. 
  • Please note our local contact tracers will never ask for any financial information, passwords or payment.

Advice and information given by the local service

  • Local contact tracers will cover the importance of self-isolating for 10 days from the day the resident first had symptoms of COVID-19 or 10 days from the positive test if no symptoms (asymptomatic). 
  • The resident will be asked to inform their employer that they will be unable to work during these 10 days if they are unable to work from home. Their employer must not ask them to come into work during this time. 
  • The local contact tracer will inform the resident that any household members will also need to self-isolate for 10 days from the day of the positive case’s symptoms or positive test if no symptoms (asymptomatic).
  • Self-isolating if you have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been a close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, is extremely important in order to help control and stop the spread of the virus. Further self-isolation guidance and translations can be found on GOV.UK
  • If a resident or household needs support in order to self-isolate the local contact tracers will offer signposting to local services which are available. Our webpages have further information on how to get help in the Royal Borough if you need to self-isolate
  • Advice will also be given around what to do if anyone in the household is clinically extremely vulnerable. 
  • Further information on the council’s support services can be accessed on our website, we have also created a list of local support groups.

How the local contact tracing team will contact residents 

  • The local contact tracing service is using a local number (01753) to contact residents. 
  • If we have your mobile phone number, we will also send you a text to let you know that we will be attempting to call you during the day. This text will show the sender as: RBWM. 
  • We may also send you a voicemail or text message if we have tried to call you but not been able to reach you. This text will provide a phone number for you to return the call during the service opening hours. 
  • We are not currently contacting residents by email or visiting addresses as part of contact tracing. This may change in the future if we feel it will help improve the success of contact tracing. 

Language services provided by the local service

  • If a resident is contacted and English isn’t their first language, the local contact tracers will endeavour to make arrangements for language support and/or translation services within the council. This will help ensure all local residents are able to participate in the contact tracing process. 
  • Translators who are involved in local contact tracing service will adhere to data protection and confidentiality standards.  
  • If the council cannot provide appropriate language support the use of suitable external language-support services may be considered. This will be kept under regular review.

Data and Information

  • Our specially trained data handlers from the local contact tracing service will download a list, from the NHS Test and Trace service, of residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have not yet been successfully contacted by the national system. 
  • This is in line with the data sharing agreement we have with the national NHS Test and Trace service. 
  • You can read our COVID-19 local contact tracing privacy statement on our privacy notice
  • The data that you provide will be held by the council and Public Health England for the purposes of health protection and held in accordance with the Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018.