Fife launches COVID 'Test & Protect' jobs recruitment

Covid-19 testing (Pic: John Devlin)Covid-19 testing (Pic: John Devlin)
Covid-19 testing (Pic: John Devlin)
Two-year posts to be filled

NHS Fife is to begin a recruitment drive this month to support the Test and Protect service.

Starting at the end of August, it will last for two years, covering the period of the service, and will source employees for temporary contracts.

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Those hired will replace the existing 48 staff currently in the roles.

New employees will be trained as contact tracers, and will receive supervision from specialist public health staff.

The recruitment drive hopes to deal with staffing requirements to meet the pandemic, as well as ensuring NHS Fife is fully equipped to deal with any potential significant future outbreaks.

Dona Milne, director of public health said:“The Scottish Government has asked health boards to establish Test and Protect services for two years within local public health teams.

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“To date, we have been using staff who have been redeployed from their normal jobs during Covid-19, and trained them as contact tracers supervised by specialist public health staff.

“They are slowly returning to their normal jobs, and we are recruiting a new team to stay with the public health department up to March 2022.

“These staff are already starting to join us and to be trained so that there is no reduction in the capacity of the Test and Protect service, which must be maintained and is a priority for NHS Fife.

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“The existing 48 staff, who have been trained as contact tracers and continue to work for NHS Fife, and will continue to receive training in case that we have a significant outbreak and require additional resource at short notice.”

In an update to Fife Council today, Ms Milne noted that the test and protect service was “going well.”

She added: “Test and protect will be with us for some time now, so it’s really important that we continue to prioritise it.”

The service remains an important aspect of Fife Council’s re-mobilisation plan which aims to deal with issues the pandemic brings in order to support the community, post Covid-19.

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Tricia Marwick chair of NHS Fife’s board, said: “The plan that’s going on to get our services up and running will continue as best as we are able, but we need to be very careful about the processes ahead.”

Ms. Marwick commented that the work from NHS Fife staff has been “quite incredible” as people take up new roles to meet the demands of the pandemic.

> Hannah Brown is the Local Democracy Reporter for Fife & Angus

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