Lancashire given nearly £10m in coronavirus trace and test funding
Written by Skywave Radio News on June 12, 2020
Lancashire has been given almost £10 million in funding to help in its coronavirus tracking system.
A total of £9,458,236 has been given to the three top-tier councils that are leading the efforts on beating coronavirus in Lancashire.
The money will help the councils develop location-specific outbreak control plans as part of the NHS Test and Trace service.
The service aims to stop the virus from spreading and prevent the need for nationwide lockdowns, with local lockdowns in place if neccessary.
The vast majority – £6,397,420 – has been given to Lancashire County Council, which is leading the fight in the likes of Preston, Blackburn, Blackpool, Burnley, Lancaster, Morecambe, Fleetwood, Lytham-St-Annes, Chorley, Leyland, Accrington, and the Ribble Valley.
This is the second largest sum given to any council in the country, behind Birmingham’s £8.4 million funding pot.
The Government has said that funding has been given based on council needs, with further funding provided for communities with lower incomes and higher demand for local healthcare.
Blackpool Council has been given £1,693,874 while Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council has been award £1,366,942.
Under the new service, anyone with Covid-19 is asked to log on to the NHS Test and Trace website and give details of places they have been and people they have been in contact in the two days before they fell ill.
Close contacts must self-isolate for 14 days and will be tested and treated if they develop symptoms, or given the all clear after a fortnight.
A total of £300 million has been split between councils across the country.
Work on local lockdown plans have already begun, which focus on identifying and containing potential outbreaks in communal areas such as workplaces, housing complexes, care homes and schools.
Councils will also need to ensure testing capacity is deployed effectively to high-risk locations.
Minister for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health, Nadine Dorries, said: “Local authorities play a vital role in the effort to contain COVID-19 in their communities.
“The funding awarded today will help each local area work hand in hand with Public Health England and contact tracers to focus on the containment of local outbreaks, to control the transmission of this virus.
“The public response to the roll out of NHS Test and Trace has been fantastic, and we continue to rely on everyone to play their part and follow the latest guidelines.
“If you have symptoms of the virus, please book a test immediately and if you are contacted by the tracing service, it is vital that you follow their advice.”
LancsLive has contacted Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Council and Blackburn with Darwen Council for further comment.