Corona virus test and trace programme expanded with new expert team members

The expert team that is leading the roll-out of the national coronavirus test and trace programme has been expanded and was announced by the government on 12th May 2020.

Two new expert members have been added to the coronavirus test and trace programme, Sarah-Jane Marsh and Tom Riordan. National test and trace will be accelerated by the team and will be backed by the increase of testing capacity across the UK.

In order to minimize the spread of the coronavirus, the test and trace programme was launched and aims to identify people who have possibly come in to contact with the virus. The testing programme has been using a contact tracing app that has been developed by the NHSX which was launched earlier this month.

The tracing app which was launched in the Isle of Wight, will be rolled out across the rest of the country with the help of the further experts that have joined the team by the end of May.

Sarah-Jane Marsh who is the Chief Executive of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital will be taking the lead on testing and Tom Riordan, Chief Executive of Leeds City Council, will be leading on tracing.

Baroness Dido Harding, chair and Head of NHS Improvement will be joined by the experts.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

“I am delighted to welcome Tom Riordan and Sarah-Jane Marsh to our team of experts working to rapidly expand the test and trace programme across the country.

“As we respond to an evolving pandemic, their expert leadership will support us to follow each case of the virus within the UK, curbing its spread and saving lives.”

Chair of the Test and Trace Programme Baroness Harding said:

“Test and trace is a vital element in the next phase of the government’s plan to stop the spread of coronavirus.

“Expanding the test and trace team to bring in more experts will ensure we can use the very best of our tech, research and people power to help keep coronavirus at bay across the country.

“I am very grateful to Leeds City Council and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital for their support as Tom Riordan and Sarah-Jane Marsh join the national effort to stop the spread of the virus.”

The role of National Testing Co-Ordinator Professor John Newton has been expanded to assist with the coordination between the testing and tracing programmes and support Baroness Harding. Newton will continue to guide and support the science of the programme in conjunction with the deputy chief medical officers.

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