Sandwell 'paving the way' with test and trace system, says MP

By Jamie Brassington | Sandwell | Coronavirus | Published:

An MP has praised a council's initiative in launching its own test and trace system - saying it is "paving the way" in how local authorities tackle coronavirus outbreaks.

Warley MP John Spellar

Warley MP John Spellar said Sandwell Council "really seem to be applying themselves" to make the system work.

It was launched by public health officials after Sandwell cited problems with the Government's own system where workplace data is not collected and 40 per cent of people, who have tested positive for Covid-19, are not being contacted.

The initiative has also attracted criticism from some political quarters in the Black Country where Sandwell - which is Labour-run - has been accused of politicising the issue.

But Mr Spellar told the Express & Star: "They seem to be paving the way for local authorities.

"Obviously, the proof is in the pudding, but they really seem to be applying themselves.

"If it works out, this will be a template for other authorities."

He continued: "I think the time scales are taking too long.

"For example, Public Health England haven't been enquiring where people work, both in Sandwell, Leicester and some places in Wales."

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at

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