A Hospital worker was told to self-isolate by an NHS contacting tracing team ’10 days too late’.
By doing so, David Williams, 53, admits he inadvertently put his patients, colleagues, and family at risk of infection. He had been told on September 2 that he should have been isolating since August 24. Williams, a healthcare support worker from Ebbw Vale in Wales, travelled to the popular Greek island of Zante last month for a much-needed two-week break.
The support worker returned home from Greece via Bristol Airport on Friday, August 21, before heading back work at Newport’s Royal Gwent Hospital on Monday, August 24, for the week. He version of events say he was sent a text message from NHS contact tracers on Tuesday, September 2, which was then followed up by a phone call, telling him that he had been in close contact with a COVID-positive patient and should self-isolate.
During the phone call, David said he was informed that he should have been self-isolating from August 24 – despite having no knowledge of the fact that he was at risk until September 2. “I’m absolutely mortified and totally gutted,” said David, who believes he must have been in close contact with an infected person on the flight back to the UK. ” I have only worked at the hospital since January and I would never have put any of the patients at risk. I’ve also put my own family, as well as my work colleagues and their families, at risk. I should have been contacted within 48 hours.”
David was immediately sent home from work and now has to self-isolate until Tuesday, September 8. He said: “The hospital have been fantastic about it and told me not to worry as it’s not my fault,” he added. “I was nearly crying going to my car.”
The Department of Health and Social Care admits there has been problems in reaching every contact of infected patients. Its latest figures show that test and trace failed for a ninth week running to reach its target of contacting over 80% of close contacts of people who test positive for Covid-19.