Publication - FOI/EIR release

COVID-19 Contact tracers: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
26 Aug 2020
COVID-19 Contact tracers: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000053671
Date received: 30 Jun 2020
Date responded: 29 Jul 2020
Information requested

1) The number of COVID-19 contact tracers Scotland had in place, trained and working or available to work on 1 June 2020. Please do not include individuals who were hired but were yet to complete training or paperwork or security checks which were a precondition to them actively starting work.

2) The previous job title and department/team of anyone who has been seconded/transferred/redeployed/rehired as a COVID-19 contact tracer since 1 March 2020. If the person has retained their previous job title, please state this but still provide their job title.

3) A breakdown of salaries of people working on Test & Protect, including the number of people on each salary or salary band, including contact tracers, managers, any other staff and the person with overall responsibility for the programme.

4) The number of contact tracers working from home in Scotland.

5) The content and length of training for new contact tracers (hired/seconded/transferred after 1 May 2020) in Scotland before they began work, including any materials such as powerpoints, handbooks or documents used for training.

6) Any estimated cost of the Test & Protect programme.

7) The total spend for advertising roles involving contact tracing for COVID-19 in Scotland.

8) Any complaints (emails, letters or other communication) from members of the public regarding their contact with the Test & Protect programme

Response

I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exemption(s) under section(s) under section 17(1) information not held, of FOISA applies to that information.

1) The number of COVID-19 contact tracers Scotland had in place, trained and working or available to work on 1 June 2020. Please do not include individuals who were hired but were yet to complete training or paperwork or security checks which were a precondition to them actively starting work.
Answer - 2,007 staff from NHS Boards across Scotland were available by 28 May when Test and Protect launched across Scotland – not all were needed on day one but they are available if demand increases. The 2,007 figure is the total from both territorial health boards and the National Contract Tracing Centre – our understanding is that NHS National Services Scotland has provided the detailed breakdown.

2) The previous job title and department/team of anyone who has been seconded/transferred/redeployed/rehired as a COVID-19 contact tracer since 1 March 2020. If the person has retained their previous job title, please state this but still provide their job title.

3) A breakdown of salaries of people working on Test & Protect, including the number of people on each salary or salary band, including contact tracers, managers, any other staff and the person with overall responsibility for the programme.
Answer - Under the terms of section 3(2)(a)(ii) Information not held of FOISA, we are unable to disclose it in response to your request.

4) The number of contact tracers working from home in Scotland.
Answer - Staff employed to work at the National Contact Tracing Centre (NCTC), have been working from home. Working arrangements for contact tracing staff across the territorial health boards would have to be confirmed with each board directly.

5) The content and length of training for new contact tracers (hired/seconded/transferred after 1 May 2020) in Scotland before they began work, including any materials such as powerpoints, handbooks or documents used for training.
Answer - Workforce education for Contact Tracers is developed and delivered by Public Health Scotland, NHS National Services Scotland and NHS Education for Scotland. For Tier 1 contact tracers, working within the newly established National Contact Tracing Centre (NCTC), the workforce education programme is a mixture of self-directed and virtually hosted facilitated training days. The duration of the learning pathway varies depending on roles and experience but an average of three days is needed for Contact Tracers, with ongoing support provided as required. Tier 2 of the service is being delivered by specialist staff across NHS boards who will already have had the appropriate health protection training and also have access to the educational materials developed for the NCTC if required. Our understanding is that NSS has supplied the detail for the response to this question.

6) Any estimated cost of the Test & Protect programme.
Answer - The Test and Protect policy remains under development and costs will be agreed and reported in due course. Under the terms of section 3(2)(a)(ii) Information not held of FOISA, we are unable to disclose it in response to your request.

7) The total spend for advertising roles involving contact tracing for COVID-19 in Scotland.
Answer - Under the terms of section 3(2)(a)(ii) Information not held of FOISA, we are unable to disclose it in response to your request.

8) Any complaints (emails, letters or other communication) from members of the public regarding their contact with the Test & Protect programme
Answer - Under the terms of section 3(2)(a)(ii) Information not held of FOISA, we are unable to disclose it in response to your request.

About FOI

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG