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Scottish COVID-19 Contact Tracing Programme


Scottish COVID-19 Contact Tracing Programme

Contact tracing is one element of NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect approach. Test and Protect is how NHS Scotland is implementing the Scottish Government’s Test, Trace, Isolate and Support (TTIS) Strategy.

Contact tracing is a well-established public health measure designed to help interrupt chains of transmission of infectious disease in the community.

Test and Protect involves identifying confirmed cases of COVID-19 through testing, tracing the people who may have become infected by spending time in close contact with the case, and then supporting those close contacts to self-isolate. This means if they have the disease they are less likely to transmit it to others.

Our role in contact tracing

Public Health Scotland (PHS) is leading on the 'trace' element of Test and Protect, working closely with the Scottish Directors of Public Health and in collaboration with local health protection teams.

PHS has developed and implemented a national contact tracing service (the ‘national service’) consisting of two tiers:

  • Tier 1 is delivered by the national contact tracing centre and is managed by NHS National Services Scotland. This tier leads contact tracing with confirmed cases where they are categorised as 'non-complex '.
  • Tier 2 is delivered by Health Protection Teams in territorial boards, who deal with complex cases such as, but not limited to, those based in hospital, care home and prison settings.

To enhance delivery of the national contact tracing approach, PHS has led the development of a case management system (CMS), a new digital platform which integrates management of contact tracing across Scotland.

We lead on the development of guidance and, in partnership with NHS Education Scotland (NES), the development of training resources to support the delivery of COVID-19 contact tracing in local health protection teams and the new national contact tracing centre.

To find out more about how contact tracing works visit the Scottish Government website.

To get in touch with the PHS contact tracing programme email