Fife health board to trial contact tracing software

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Three health boards are testing the software for NHS Scotland

Contact tracing technology is being tested by NHS Fife from today (Monday).

The local health board is one of three chosen by NHS Scotland to trial the software which contact tracers will use to collect the information that they need digitally.

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NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Highland are also taking part in the pilot, which is expected to last two weeks.

NHS Fife is one of three health boards testing the contact tracing software for NHS ScotlandNHS Fife is one of three health boards testing the contact tracing software for NHS Scotland
NHS Fife is one of three health boards testing the contact tracing software for NHS Scotland | JPIMedia

The software builds on existing contact tracing technology in place across the NHS and will allow health boards to trace more contacts faster.

The pilot is the first step in moving towards an extended test, trace, isolate and support (TTIS) approach which will be used to keep transmission in communities low as the country moves out of lockdown.

Test, Trace, Isolate, Support is a public health intervention to identify cases of Covid-19, find the people they have been in close contact with, and then ask those close-contacts to self-isolate for 14 days to reduce the risk of the disease spreading.

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Over 600 additional staff from the NHS are ready to begin this work, as part of the process of recruiting up to 2000 staff.

The software will be rolled out to all health boards by the end of May and then further enhanced during June.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “Technology will be an important tool to help us move towards the test, trace, isolate and support approach and safely exit lockdown.

“The software we are developing in Scotland is built on a tried and trusted platform and will allow us to carry out contact tracing on a much larger scale than has been necessary until now.

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“It will also focus on supporting public health teams identify outbreaks and reduce transmission in high risk groups and settings by making it easier for staff to collect and record information.

“The test, trace, isolate and support approach is about breaking the chain of transmission of the virus but it remains vital that alongside this people continue to follow physical distancing advice and practise good hand and cough hygiene.”

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