How actuaries contribute their expertise towards the “test and trace” programme through modelling and analysis

The Government Actuary’s Department is lending its expertise during the Covid-19 pandemic by supporting clients.

Two people from GAD are using their analytical expertise under the government’s Civil Service COVID redeployment programme towards the new NHS test and trace service. Their support will help ensure quick testing and rapid identification of close contacts of those who have tested positive for Covid-19. This endeavour will help curb new infections.

Why effective modelling and analysis is crucial

As the test and trace programme relies on accurate data, the data and analytics team needs to maintain one source of data across the system to provide modelling and analysis. It is important for modelling and analysis to be effective across all areas of the test and trace programme, so that operational needs and future demand for test and contact tracing can be identified quickly. An effective modelling and analysis system is also crucial to help identify new local outbreaks as swiftly as possible so that proper policy decisions can be made.

A fast paced, vital contribution

According to Rich Haines, an actuary involved in the programme, the modelling is provided on policy questions and the work is “incredibly fast paced” as there is a great drive to ensure that the programme is effective and successful.

Comfort Ajoku, a trainee actuary, stated in a press release that the NHS test and trace team comprises of a variety of people from within and outside the government.

He said that work in the data and analytics team involves modelling the need for test kits, contact tracers and people who are currently isolating.

Using his skills in the NHS test and trace programme is a great opportunity to lend a hand in the fight against the pandemic.

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