Test and Trace scheme vital to easing current lockdown – and GP input will be key to its success at local level, says RCGP

Publication date: 28 May 2020

Responding to the new NHS Test and Trace programme announced this evening, Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "Easing the current lockdown will necessitate having a comprehensive test and trace system in place. This is something the College has called for, alongside a wider COVID-19 community testing strategy.

"The announcement of funding for local authorities to tackle the virus at a local level is an important one and involving general practice in local decision making will be key to ensuring patients are central to any plans.

"GPs' skills will be needed delivering holistic patient care more than ever as the focus of the pandemic shifts to the community, so it would be impractical for GPs and our teams to conduct contact tracing ourselves. However, we are keen to support this effort and work with public health colleagues to continue helping to tackle COVID-19 in the community. It goes without saying that those tasked with contacting people who have been potentially exposed to COVID-19, to give them advice and instructions about what measures they need to take are properly trained to do so.

"Throughout the pandemic, patients across the country have followed official advice – often making huge sacrifices and enduring hardship in doing so – and as a result, the NHS has not been overwhelmed and lives have been saved. We would urge them to continue to do so as we move into the next stages of tackling this pandemic."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7494/7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 53,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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