Test and Trace – disagreeing with assessments and escalating the case

Test and Trace – disagreeing with assessments and escalating the case

September 18, 2020

UPDATE: Please see updated PSNC Briefing 022/20: NHS Test and Trace – Key points for contractors as Q&As for the latest information.

Contractors are reminded that if they disagree with an assessment or an identification of a recent close contact by an NHS Test and Trace contact tracer, they should ask to speak to his or her supervisor, so that the case can be escalated and reviewed.

NHS Test and Trace aims to help trace recent close contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies these people that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus. Therefore, if one member of pharmacy staff tests positive for coronavirus, a contact tracer may contact the pharmacy and assess whether other pharmacy staff members should be asked to self-isolate. The result may be that the pharmacy has to close.

A close contact means having face-to-face contact with someone less than 1 metre away (this will include times where a face covering or a face mask is worn), spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of someone or travelling in a car or other small vehicle with someone (even on a short journey) or close to them on a plane. PSNC considers that any assessment of a close contact between pharmacy staff ought to take into account the use of PPE (including its type and situational appropriateness) and other mitigating factors that may reduce the risk of infection transmission to such an extent that the individual identified as a contact does not need to self-isolate.

There are three levels of contact tracer and contractors are advised to escalate the case to the Public Health England (PHE) local health protection team (Tier 1, the highest level) where there are implications for the continued provision of pharmacy services.



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