‘Leaky’ test and trace system has long way to go to reach ‘world-beating’

Dr Billy Palmer responds to the latest NHS track and trace data.

Press release

Published: 09/07/2020

Responding to the latest NHS track and trace data, Senior Fellow at the Nuffield Trust, Dr Billy Palmer said:

“Ten billion pounds so far, thousands of lives, the economy and the country’s ability to protect the NHS from a second national spike has been pinned on a credible and effective track and trace system.

“But each week the percentage of people who could have been exposed to the virus asked to self-isolate is falling. We have a leaky system and need to do a lot better to reach the “world beating” approach  promised. 

“It is still likely that we are missing a large proportion of people in the first instance, and of those reached we then lack key information which underpins the process. Data provided so far is opaque with no regional breakdowns or the numbers provided for those then following the advice and going on to self-isolate.”

Notes to editors

This week, the Nuffield Trust published a ‘Chart of the Week’ which used data published on Thursday 2 July to illustrate where people are ‘falling out’ of the system, from case identification to contacts being asked to self-isolate.  

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