Home care providers based on the Isle of Wight have welcomed the government’s decision to pilot the new COVID-19 tracking app on the island.
Providers have told Home Care Insight that their staff are keen to play their part in helping to stop the spread of the virus by downloading the app when it becomes available tomorrow.
Dee and John Oswald, co-owners of Home Instead Senior Care’s Isle of Wight branch said: “We are hopeful that the new app will be beneficial in enabling the whole of the UK to come out of this crisis sooner, should the testing be successful.
“Due to the representative demographics of the Isle of Wight, we believe this makes it a perfect test base for the whole of the United Kingdom, due to the natural containment of being an island, with limited access during this lockdown period. The sooner the app is rolled out nationally, the more control we will have over the spread of the pandemic. We are happy to play our part in the process.”
Part of a new test, track and trace programme, the app is designed to speed up contact tracing, helping reduce the chance of the virus spreading by identifying people most at risk of infection so they can take action to protect themselves and their loved ones.
When someone reports symptoms through the app, it will detect any other app users that the person has been in significant contact with over the past few days, including unknown contacts such as someone they may have sat next to on public transport.
The app will be able to anonymously alert these contacts and provide advice, including how to get a test to confirm whether or not they do have COVID19.
Naomi Keyte, head of Sheltered and Care Services for Southern 360, which is part of the Southern Housing Group, said: “As one of the island’s leading care providers, Southern Housing Group welcomes the government’s decision to pilot the new NHSX app on the Isle of Wight. We will be encouraging all of our staff to download the app when it becomes available.
“Although we have robust safety measures in place already, downloading the app is another step we can take to keep staff and residents safe and to help continue to combat the potential spread of coronavirus.”
Alan Cotterall, director of Bluebird Care Isle of Wight, said: “We are all hoping that the app will help speed up the elimination of the virus. The staff are keen take part in this initiative hoping that by playing their part, we will see the end of the current situation. The majority of our customers are elderly and are remaining at home, therefore they won’t be utilising it in any great numbers. However, we know they are also as keen to see an end to this crisis.”