NEWS18 May 2020

Contact tracing pilot begins in three Scottish health boards

Covid-19 News Privacy Technology UK

UK – The Scottish government will begin trialling Covid-19 NHS contact tracing in Fife, Lanarkshire and the Highlands from today ( 18th May).

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The pilot, expected to last two weeks, will allow the three health boards to test out the software used by contact tracers.

The government said this will build on existing contact tracing technology in place across the NHS. The software will be rolled out across Scotland by the end of May, with further developments made in June.

The Digital Health and Care Institute is developing a web-based tool for the NHS in Scotland, that can be used by the public to input details of those they have been in close contact with. The data will then be shared with contact tracing teams and people will be contacted by phone.

The system is different from the UK government’s Bluetooth-based mobile app approach, currently being tested on the Isle of Wight, however the Scottish government has not ruled out this type of approach in future.

Jeane Freeman, health secretary, said: “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. 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.”