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WHAT TO EXPECT IF YOU’RE CALLED BY AN NHS CONTACT TRACER

Scotland’s approach to implementing the ‘test, trace, isolate, support’ strategy, Test and Protect, is live across the country and has now been supported by the release of a proximity app, Protect Scotland, downloadable onto smartphones. 

If you experience any one of the symptoms – a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – you must immediately self-isolate. 

As soon as you start showing symptoms you should go to www.nhsinform.scot or call 0800 028 2816 to arrange to get tested. 

When contacting individuals who have tested positive, contact tracers will ask people to identify others who they’ve been in close contact with and places they’ve been 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms up until the time they’ve self-isolated. This information will then be input into contact tracing software and used to identify and contact those identified.

The positive individual will not be named by the contact tracer in line with patient confidentiality, unless they agree to have their details disclosed to help the contact tracing process.

Importantly, contact tracers will not ask anyone for information about bank accounts or medical records, and they will not try to sell you anything. The data gathered will be stored securely by NHS Scotland and safely destroyed as soon as possible after the pandemic concludes.

Ms Roseanna Cunningham MSP said: 

“The launch of the proximity app Protect Scotland just a week ago has been very successful indeed with nearly a million downloads already. That is a fantastic indicator of the determination of the whole community to play a part in halting the spread of this virus.

“Infuriatingly, there are always people with criminal intent prepared to take advantage of public uncertainty around new developments and I understand that people may be worried about the risks of potential phone scams.  Knowing what to expect from a genuine contact tracer can help to guard against these despicable scammers.

“I want to urge constituents to be vigilant but also to reassure them that the NHS already has a number of protections in place to stop potential fraudsters and ensure all information is kept confidential. 

“Contact tracers will introduce themselves, state the reason for their call, and will always identify who they are calling by name. They will not ask for information about bank accounts or medical records, and they will not try to sell you anything. 

“I want to make it absolutely clear that Covid tests are free and no genuine contact tracer will ever ask for bank details.

“The tracers are supported by software which builds on a tried and trusted platform, allowing teams to identify outbreaks and reduce transmission for high-risk groups here in Perthshire South & Kinross-shire.

“Trace and Protect is one way we will tackle this pandemic, but physical distancing and good hand hygiene continues to play a huge role as we seek to minimise the spread of infection.” 

 

* * * * * 

Notes: 

Test and Protect was rolled out across Scotland on 28 May 2020.

The Protect Scotland app is now available to download for free via Apple and Google stores.

What people can expect when called by a contact tracer:

- contact tracers will introduce themselves, state the reason for their call, and will always identify the call recipient by name

- contact tracers will only ask for information about your movements and the people you have been in close physical proximity to

- contact tracers will not ask for personal information like bank accounts, or medical records, and will not offer services to you, or try to sell you anything

- they may send a text message or email to provide links to online guidance and support.

A privacy statement about the use of information as part of contact tracing can be found on the NHS Scotland site - https://www.informationgovernance.scot.nhs.uk/covid-19-privacy-statement/

 

Roseanna Cunningham MSP, 63 Glasgow Road, Perth PH2 0PE  •  01738 620540   •   Website designed & hosted by Craig Mackay Design