NHS Test & Trace “less successful” in hardest-hit deprived areas, new analysis reveals

NHS Test & Trace is “less successful” in hardest-hit deprived areas, according to new analysis by The Health Foundation.

THE research shows that a smaller proportion of positive COVID-19 cases and their contacts are reached by NHS Test and Trace in more deprived areas than in more affluent areas.

Among the most deprived group of local authorities in England, 83 per cent of positive cases were reached, compared to 86 per cent in the least deprived.

According to the foundation, the difference was greater when it came to reaching the contacts of those who had tested positive – 56 per cent were reached in most deprived areas compared to 62 per cent elsewhere.

“This means that that between May 28 and November 18, an additional 9,000 positive Covid-19 cases and 42,500 contacts would have been reached in the most deprived group of local authorities in England if they had had the same success rates as the least deprived,” said The Heart Foundation.

Senior Policy Fellow at the Health Foundation, Adam Briggs, added: “There may be many possible reasons why a lower percentage of people are reached by NHS Test & Trace in more deprived areas, but the information available doesn’t enable us to understand this in more detail.

“Knowing why….is crucial to ensuring the system isn’t inadvertently widening inequalities, particularly as Covid-19 already hits vulnerable communities hardest.

“Policies need to be developed to improve engagement with contact tracing, and to help people to isolate when necessary. This may include better use of local expertise and knowledge, and addressing any gaps in available social, practical, and financial support for people isolating.”


*As part of the analysis, all 149 upper-tier local authorities in England were grouped into five levels of deprivation, from most to least deprived. This was mapped against the number of positive cases and their contacts who were successfully contacted by the national NHS Test & Trace system between May 28 and November 18.

Thank you for taking the time to read this news article “NHS Test and Trace “less successful” in hardest-hit deprived areas, new analysis reveals”. For more UK daily news, Spanish daily news and Global news stories, visit the Euro Weekly News home page.

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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