Launch of Countywide Test and Trace Service
South Cambs District Council News
Launch of countywide Test and Trace service
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough contact tracing service launched this week.
Cambridgeshire County Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council will be working closely with NHS Test and Trace to contact people who have tested positive for Covid-19, giving them help, advice and support to self-isolate, in a further bid to crack down on the pandemic.
Both councils have staff who have undergone special training in contact tracing and who will be following up on people who have tested positive for Covid-19 but have not responded to a call or email from the national service, asking them for details of their close contacts.
Council staff will initially make contact by phone, text or email asking people to call a local number. If this fails, staff carrying local authority ID will make house to house visits to reach those people who have tested positive. They will be given advice and support on how they can stay isolated to break the chain of infection, and prevent it spreading to their household contacts. They will also be asked to share details of others they have been in contact with. Anyone who is concerned by being contacted can call the council or local community hub to check the identity of the tracer on 0345 045 5219.
We know that the quicker we can reach people who’ve tested positive and get them to isolate – and get them to share details of who they’ve been in contact with – the quicker we can break the chain of infection.
Information will be provided by the local team about the support available for those who need to isolate, including the £500 payments that are available for people who have been asked to self-isolate, where this has led to a loss of income.
Please feel free to share information about the new local team in your communities.
How the system works
- If the national NHS Test and Trace service is unable to make contact after 24 hours with anyone who tests positive, they will refer the details into our new, local Cambridgeshire contact tracing team
- The local team will receive this information daily, seven days a week
- The Cambridgeshire team will contact people, initially by phone/text/email, and this will show up as a local number or come from an official council email address. The person will be asked to contact a local number
- If they can’t be contacted by phone/text/email after another 24 hours, we will send a council member of staff to the person’s address to speak to them personally
- We will provide advice to them, get details of their ‘contacts’ and then update the national system with this information
- The national process and service will then take over and contact the close contacts of the people we’ve been in contact with. The loop currently ends there for us in Cambridgeshire
- When our colleagues make contact we will also see if people need any support or help – this could be financial support if people are unable to work, or support to shop for food, get medication or undertake essential household chores etc.
Enabling safe and effective volunteering during coronavirus
On 13 November, the Government published guidance for people who run volunteer-involving organisations or groups, or manage volunteers, to help organisations understand how to safely and effectively involve volunteers during the coronavirus outbreak.
Updated guidance on opening community facilities
The Government updated its guidance on Tuesday for those managing community centres, village halls and other community facilities on safely using multi-purpose buildings in line with national restrictions. If you need support please email .
Funding for parish council and community groups
We recently issued grants to parish councils and community groups to help with your Covid response. If you are a parish council, please ensure when using this grant that you are adhering to parish council legislation. For example, using the Power of Competence / using s137 funding. The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) issued helpful guidance in their bulletin LTN31 on 14 May 2020, which is available online to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Association of Local Councils (CAPALC) members.
Innovate & Cultivate Fund
The next deadline to apply for Cambridgeshire County Council’s Innovate & Cultivate Fund for £2,000-£15,000 is 1 February 2021. The fund supports initiatives that strengthen communities and reduce pressure on the County Council’s adult social care and children’s services. The fund is open to voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations, and public sector organisations in Cambridgeshire.
The County Council strongly advises organisations to seek pre-application advice on their project ideas before submitting an application – you can book an advice slot for Thursday 10 December on Eventbrite.
Application guidance is also available to run new projects such as Mobile Warden Schemes and Digital Inclusion Projects – or for Timebanks, Good Neighbour Schemes, Dementia-Friendly Communities and Men’s Sheds. You can find guidance on how to apply for a start-up grant for each of these projects on the Cambridgeshire Insight website.
C3 hot meals scheme – update
We mentioned last week that we are able to relaunch the hot food scheme with C3 Church. Please continue to let us know if you are aware of individuals or families in your community who would benefit from a weekly meal top up, please email .
LEAP – energy and money saving advice
The Council has partnered with LEAP (the Local Energy Advice Partnership), which offers a free energy advice service for residents, offering:
- energy saving advice
- debt advice
- free LED bulbs, radiator panels and draught proofing (including fitting for disabled customers)
- help to understand tariffs and meters, and to find the cheapest energy tariffs (saving an average £250 per year)
- referrals for funding for home improvements such as loft insulation (even in rented accommodation we can partially fund improvements)
- free replacement fridges, freezers, washing machines and electric cookers (if over nine years old and broken, through the HEART scheme)
- to register residents for a Warm Home Discount (£140 off their electricity bill), a Social Water Tariff, and Priority Services Register.
The service is available to anyone that either is already in, or is at risk of, falling into fuel poverty. It is open to all types of householders – homeowners, private renters and social housing tenants. You can check the eligibility criteria on the LEAP website.
Job role: Community Connectors
We are aware of 10 Community Connector roles which are being recruited to by the County Council and, as you have been working to perform such a similarly supportive role during 2020, we thought it may be of interest.
It is critical that we all follow the rules so that we can start December in the lowest tier possible and have the best chance of being able to spend the festive season with friends and family. Please do remember that we are here to help you in your ongoing efforts to support your community – don’t hesitate to contact your patch lead with any queries or requests for support.
Lead Cabinet Member for Community Resilience, Health & Wellbeing
South Cambridgeshire District Council