November 3, 2020 1.35 pm This story is over 36 months old

Lincoln family with coronavirus fed up with “test & trace harassment”

They get dozens of calls through the day

A Lincoln bus driver and his family, who are self-isolating with coronavirus, are becoming increasingly frustrated at what he describes as “harassment” from the NHS Test and Trace service.

Adam Wales, who is a bus driver for Stagecoach, said the Test and Trace service has been inundating them with over 10 calls daily throughout the day, and multiple emails, during their self-isolation and it has got to the point where he’s had to block the phone number.

In the Wales household, Adam, his wife Pru, eldest son Josh and Josh’s girlfriend Thalia Burr all tested positive and are self-isolating until Tuesday, November 10 after the first family member tested positive on October 27. However, Adam’s youngest son Joe tested negative.

Lincoln bus driver Adam Wales.

Adam told The Lincolnite: “We have been getting constant calls, each from different operators claiming they don’t have the information that I have repeatedly given.

“We each receive calls because we are positive, and also calls because we have been identified as contacts of people who have tested positive, i.e. the other three in our house.

“They promise each time that now I have given the information I shouldn’t be bothered by them again, but within hours they’re back on the phone. It is the last thing you need when you’re trying to beat coronavirus.

“They don’t seem to realise that when you are ill, you don’t want to be answering in the region of 12-16 phone calls per day, giving information they already have.

“I have the Test and Trace app and we have all entered our results into that, yet they continue to harass us with phone calls. When I tell them we are tired of the calls, they say they understand that it can’t be pleasant when we are recovering and apologise for the inconvenience, and then they ring again hours later.

“I’ve had to block the Test and Trace number and diverted their emails to spam. It’s getting ridiculous.”

Adam added that he is recovering steadily from coronavirus, but is still achy, with an “intense headache, ongoing loss of taste and smell, temperature and a chronic lack of energy”.

You may recognise Adam as he entertained people during the first coronavirus lockdown with his quirky and amusing videos on TikTok, which he continues to upload when he can.

The Wales family are trying to keep smiling during their battle with coronavirus.

The Department of Health and Social Care’s approach has been to favour over-contacting affected individuals rather than under contact in order to stem the spread of the disease.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson: “NHS Test and Trace is breaking chains of transmission thanks to local and national teams working closely together.

“Over 1.4 million people who may otherwise have unknowingly spread coronavirus have been contacted and told to isolate.”

NHS Test and Trace uses a secure system to contact people who test positive and their contacts. The NHS Test and Trace service automatically receives information if a test result is positive and then start the contact tracing process.

The person will receive a text or email alert within 24 hours before being invited to log on to a secure online service, but if not a trained call handler will take them through what they need to do.