NHS Covid-19 Test and Trace app

NHS test and trace app

Earlier this week, the NHS COVID-19 app has been made widely available to download to anyone with a SMART phone. Some of you may have already downloaded and be using. 

There is no mandatory requirement to download and use and it can be stopped and deleted at any time.  Its hope is to assist the public to better self-manage the spread of COVID19.  Further information of its intended use can be found here NHS COVID-19 app and information.

Effective use of the app for our staff!

Here at EEAST, firstly it is important that if anyone has signs or symptoms of COVID-19, they continue to report through the current internal reporting systems through their line management and COVID Leads HERE   and not the NHS App.

It is hoped that the app will alert you if you have had contact with a positive case.  Unfortunately it is not intelligent to know if your contact happened at work; when you have worn the correct PPE and adhered to all social distancing messages and hand hygiene or whether the contact was outside of this safe working environment.

As a result, there is a real risk that if the app is not paused whilst working in a clinically safe environment, it is possible the alert will advise you to self-isolate when it is not necessary.

Therefore, to assist you if you decide to use the app and receive an alert, please following the guidance in the document below.

How best to use the app whilst at work in a clinically safe environment  

If you are intending to use the NHS App, please ensure that you turn the app off when you arrive at your workplace and turn it on again when they leave to go home. 

This means that the app, whilst useful for information outside of work, will be unnecessary for use during the course of a shift and may cause staff to be notified as a contact to self-isolate, when in fact they were at work, maintaining good social distancing, hand hygiene or wearing PPE with a patient, so no need to isolate.

This is achieved by opening the app and selecting the toggle switch, labelled as ‘Contact tracing’, then selecting the time frame to switch off the app. This will prevent you being notified regarding positive patient contacts.

What if I get a notification?

If you receive a notification instructing you to self-isolate, only the timeframe for isolation will be stipulated which may elude to the day the contact was made, however this will not enable you to know a specific time or person contacted.

Therefore, to ensure the correct decision around whether self-isolation is made based on the information known, it’s really important that staff should contact their manager if they receive a notification to confirm whether the contact was during healthcare provision to determine that are required to isolate in line with the NHS App guidance provided.

What else dose the App do?

Trace - Get alerted if you have been near other app users that have tested positive for coronavirus.

Alert - Lets you know the level of coronavirus risk in your postcode and district.

Check-in - Get alerted if you have visited a venue where you may have come into contact with coronavirus.

Symptoms - Check if you have coronavirus symptoms and see if you need to order a free test.

Test - Helps you book a test and get your result.

Isolate – Keeps track of your self-isolation countdown and access relevant advice.

Published 25th September 2020

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