Posted: Sat 8th Aug 2020

Conwy Council seeks 30-strong contact tracing team to tackle coronavirus outbreaks

North Wales news and information

Conwy county has officially signed up to North Wales’ Test, Trace and Protect (TTP) programme aimed at thwarting coronavirus outbreaks, as recruitment continues for contact tracers.

Leader Cllr Sam Rowlands used delegated powers to approve head of regulatory services and housing, Peter Brown, as manager of its contact tracing team.

Individual counties are taking on full-time contact tracers to seek out anyone who has been in close contact with new Covid-19 cases.

Three differing roles are being advertised with salaries ranging from £18,795 to £37,849.

Those traced will be questioned and asked to self-isolate for up to 14 days if appropriate.

Cllr Rowlands also rubber-stamped the authority’s entrance into an agreement with the five other North Wales county councils to form a joint TTP force.

Cllr Charlie McCoubrey, lead member for regulatory and housing, was one of a number of members who welcomed the move.

He  said: “I am fully supportive of this proposal as the most sensible and pragmatic way of establishing this essential service as quickly as possible.”

The agreement, which includes the employment of new contracted staff, is needed because council workers who were seconded to do tracing work during the pandemic are now needed back in their regular jobs.

New staff will need to commit to a minimum of 12 hours per week for 12 weeks as business support supervisors, contact tracers or contact advisers.

Responsibilities of the roles include:

  • Undertaking initial interviews of Covid-19 positive cases and/or contacts by phone
  • Identifying and following up with contacts and providing public health advice (where appropriate)
  • Ensuring the timely and accurate recording of information from interviews

Successful applicants can opt for a fixed term contract until March 31, 2021, or take ad-hoc shifts between 8am and 8pm, on a seven day rota.

The advert adds:  “Applications are welcomed from candidates who can demonstrate their ability to work in both English and Welsh as well as those with additional language skills.

“Welsh language skills are essential for those working with colleagues in Ynys Mon and Gwynedd.”

Conwy are looking for around 30 staff to fill the roles on offer.

Flintshire council will have overall management of the scheme on behalf of all six counties in North Wales.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board will manage wider-scale complex outbreaks through its public health team, with Public Health Wales in charge of the programme nationwide.

Welsh Government approved £11.2m of funding for the North Wales arm of TTP, which will cover staff and associated costs until the end of this year.

Wrexham entered into the agreement on July 14, as did Flintshire, with Denbighshire signing up on July 28 and Conwy on August 5.

Gwynedd rubber-stamped the inter-authority deal at its August 4 cabinet meeting.

Anglesey will also be part of the six-county agreement.

By Jez Hemming – Local Democracy Reporter



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