Chesterfield woman forced to miss work after issues with Test and Trace alert system

A Chesterfield woman says she was forced to forgo three days pay after issues with the NHS Test and Trace system meant she was never contacted to self-isolate.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 3:14 pm

Jemma Taylor, 37, from Duckmanton, had expected to isolate after being in regular contact with a friend who, just a day after seeing her, tested positive for Covid-19.

But, she did not received an alert from the NHS Test and Trace system and had to make her own decision on whether to self-isolate.

She said: “After my friend tested positive, she inputted her results on the app to alert those who had been in contact with her.

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The NHS Covid-19 app alerts the user "You need to self-isolate". Photo illustration by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.
The NHS Covid-19 app alerts the user "You need to self-isolate". Photo illustration by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.

"But me and another woman didn’t have the app so, we sat back and waited for Test and Trace to send my friend a code so she could up load our information into the online link for them to contact us.”

After not receiving the email, Jemma’s friend contacted Test and Trace who allegedly said they were unable to send the code needed.

Jemma then sought guidance from NHS 119 who advised her to self-isolate.

But without proof to show her employer, she was left to choose whether to follow the government guidelines or lose hundreds of pounds in pay.

"My employer said I was to come into work if I’d not been pinged by Test and Trace or if they hadn’t got in contact with me, or I wouldn’t get paid,”she said.

"It annoyed me more because it’s a tough time, my husband lost his job through coronavirus and it’s my son’s birthday in six weeks time.

"I was thinking how do I afford everything when I’m missing three full days pay? Do I put people at risk if I’ve got it? It’s just been awful.”

Jemma says has now returned to work after coming to an arrangement with her employer but still remains angered by the whole NHS Test and Trace system.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “Those who think they may have been in contact with a positive case but have not heard from Test and Trace should take reasonable precautions to minimise contact with others. If in doubt they should phone 119.”

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