EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

NHS Test and Trace

NHS Test and Trace

Geographic Location

Country: United Kingdom


Sector: Health / social work
Human health services
86.90 - Other human health activities
Number Employed: 18000

Employment Effects

Announcement Date: 10-08-2020
Planned Job Reductions min: 6000
Planned Job Reductions max: 6000
Type of Restructuring: Internal restructuring
Employment Effect Start: 24-08-2020
Direct Dismissals: 6000

Additional Information

The coronavirus ‘test and trace’ service of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has announced that it will cut 6,000 contact tracer jobs, a third of the current workforce, because a new approach to contact tracing is being adopted, replacing the current centralised system.  

The Executive Chair of NHS Test and Trace said the current system used to contact people who are at risk of having contracted the new coronavirus had been built to ensure that it had extra capacity and reducing its size was  a 'planned next step' in tackling the virus.

Regional and local leaders of the public health system in England were critical of the current system from the start and some employees had told the media that they felt untrained and did not have enough work to do.

NHS Test and Trace was established in May 2020. It is an outsourced service provided to the National Health Service in England, to track and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.