What to expect if an NHS Contact Tracer calls you

Scotland’s approach to implementing the ‘test, trace, isolate, support’ strategy, Test and Protect, is now live across the country.

Test and Protect will help us gradually change the restrictions that help to suppress COVID-19 so society can adapt to a new normal.

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 http://www.nhsinform.scot or call 0800 028 2816 to arrange to be tested.

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

The contact tracer, in line with patient confidentiality, will not name the positive individual, 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.

Commenting, SNP MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde, Stuart McMillan said:

“I understand that people may be worried about the risks of potential phone scams, but 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.

“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 Inverclyde.

“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 minimise the spread of infection.

“I would also encourage everyone with an eligible smartphone to download the Protect Scotland app, as this assists the Test and Protect programme.”

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