PRODUCED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH UK GOVERNMENT

NHS Test and Trace brings together testing, contact tracing and outbreak management into an end-to-end service to help prevent the spread of the virus, protect local communities and save lives.

NHS Test and Trace provides protection for family, friends, colleagues and the community. It is here to keep all of us safe and allow us to enjoy summer safely.
Atif Hussain, an optometrist from Rochdale, decided to apply to join NHS Test and Trace after seeing a social media job advert.

With a decade of experience as a locum optometrist, the 32-year-old felt he could put his skills to good use, by helping patients who had contracted the coronavirus and help to track others the virus may have been passed to.

Atif joined NHS Test and Trace as a Clinical Contact Caseworker in mid-May and after undergoing training for around a week, his skills were immediately put to the test.
Atif said: “With the background I’ve got, I have to deal with things that are as serious or more serious on a day-to-day basis, I have to tell someone they won’t be able to drive or are losing their sight.

“Often I have to refer someone who might have a life-threatening condition as an emergency to a neurologist or A&E. So, I’m comfortable having these difficult conversions that others might think were awkward.

“I’ve had a range of really interesting cases – no two calls are the same, I’ve realised we’re offering a lot more than tracing contacts – we’ve managed to make some key interventions in helping people in different ways.

“This service is a complete package from finding out how people are, to getting details of their contacts, to supporting those that are vulnerable or might have other concerns.”

“There was an individual who had been tested routinely
at work and was a bit surprised they tested positive because they didn’t have any symptoms.

“When we used memory jogging techniques, it came to light that two weeks prior they’d had 24 to 36 hours or so of very high temperature and a sore throat. However, they thought with coronavirus you had to have a cough and temperature, so they didn’t think anything to it.

“I realised they had potentially had the infection two weeks prior, so I went on to ask about what they did and who they had contact with.

“When I realised they were working in a homeless shelter, it came to light they’d been on shift several times so I escalated that via the team leaders who then took action to temporarily close the shelter and carry out disinfection. Then everyone else they’d been in contact with needed to be notified and to get a test.

“In these situations, it’s important we can take appropriate action as soon as possible.”
Atif says people are positive about the NHS Test and Trace service and when asking people for feedback at the end of his calls, he says around 90 per cent are ‘very satisfied.’
He is also proud of the role he is playing in the team. Atif said: “Even those people who’ve been apprehensive about why we’re calling, once they realise about the full range of services and support, we have to offer, they really warm to the service.

“I’ve been so pleased I can help with the effort. It’s great to be able to make a difference and be able to contribute towards the effort.”

To stop the spread of coronavirus, everyone will need to play their part by isolating if they have symptoms, booking a test as soon as possible, and if asked to do so, identifying their close contacts.

If you have symptoms:

  • Book a test as soon as possible at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119 if displaying symptoms (a high temperature OR a new, continuous cough, OR a loss or change in sense of smell or taste)
  • Isolate if symptomatic or if asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace
  • Share information about recent close contacts with the NHS Test and Trace if positive for Covid-19.

This is UK Government information for readers in England only.