Government expands expert team to roll out coronavirus test-and-trace programme

Tom Riordan and Sarah-Jane Marsh join programme to increase testing and reduce spread of coronavirus

The Government has appointed two new members to the team of experts working on the coronavirus test-and-trace programme.

Tom Riordan and Sarah-Jane Marsh will join the programme, which is being chaired by Baroness Dido Harding.

The team will work to rapidly expand test and trace nationwide, backed by the successful scaling up of testing capacity across the country

The test and trace programme has been designed to minimise the spread of coronavirus by identifying people who may have been in contact with the pathogen.

It is backed by increased testing capacity and a contact tracing app developed by NHSX and launched on the Isle of Wight earlier this month.

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

This week, further experts have been added to the team working on the programme’s nationwide roll out.

Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, will be leading on tracing alongside his existing role; and Sarah-Jane Marsh, chief executive of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital, will be the lead on testing.

They will join the test and trace programme chair and head of NHS Improvement, Baroness Dido Harding.

Both have been confirmed by Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, to further draw upon the best British expertise from across the country in the fight against the spread of coronavirus.

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

He 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.”

Baroness Harding added: “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.”

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