Call for optometrists to join coronavirus contact tracing workforce

The NHS and Public Health England are recruiting over 3000 clinical professionals to work as home-based caseworkers

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Optometrists and other registered healthcare professionals are being urged by the NHS and Public Health England to join the coronavirus (COVID-19) contact tracing workforce and “play their part in defeating the pandemic.”

Currently 3000 to 4000 clinical professionals are being recruited to work as home-based clinical contact caseworkers and help suppress the spread of COVID-19.

Caseworkers are responsible for liaising over the phone with COVID-19 patients, understanding their situation and assisting in the tracing and tracking of anyone who they have been in contact with.

This role has been developed as part of the Public Health England Contact Tracing Service programme. This initiative is supported by Department of Health & Social Care, NHS England & NHS Improvement and the Cabinet Office.

To be eligible to apply, applicants must be currently registered with an appropriate health or science-related professional body and are working, or have worked at, a Band 6 level.

The job description and person specification, which includes working hours, pay rate and working from home requirements, is available online.

The job description on NHS Professionals states: “Caseworkers will be provided with training, onboarding and induction materials. Working as part of a wider team of experienced clinicians, they will be liaising with initial call handlers and escalating any in-depth queries to the Public Health England team.”

AOP clinical director, Dr Peter Hampson, told OT: “The coronavirus contact tracing workforce strategy is an important part of the UK’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Thousands of contact tracers are required, and these roles need to be filled by skilled healthcare professionals with clinical experience. As a regulated profession, optometrists have the transferable skills needed to perform this role to the highest standard.”

Readers can find out more and register their interest in this position by visiting www.nhsprofessionals.nhs.uk