The government on Tuesday (May 12) appointed two new members to the team of experts working on the coronavirus ‘test and trace’ programme.

Tom Riordan, Chief Executive of Leeds City Council, will be leading on tracing alongside his existing role, and Sarah-Jane Marsh, Chief Executive of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital, will be the lead on testing.

The experts will join the test and trace programme chair and Head of NHS Improvement, Baroness Dido Harding.

Both experts have been confirmed by Secretary of Health and Social Care Matt Hancock to further draw upon the best British expertise from across the country in the fight against the spread of coronavirus.

Chair of the ‘Test and Trace Programme’ Baroness Harding said: “Test and trace is a vital element in the next phase of the government’s plan to stop the spread of coronavirus.

“Expanding the test and trace team to bring in more experts will ensure we can use the very best of our tech, research and people power to help keep coronavirus at bay across the country.

“I am very grateful to Leeds City Council and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital for their support as Tom Riordan and Sarah-Jane Marsh join the national effort to stop the spread of the virus.

The test and trace programme has been designed to minimise the spread of coronavirus, by identifying people who may have been in contact with the virus.

The programme is backed by increased testing capacity and a contact tracing app developed by NHSX, launched on the Isle of Wight earlier this month.

The test and trace team will work closely with National Testing Co-ordinator Professor John Newton. Professor Newton will continue to provide clinical guidance and will support the science of the programme alongside the deputy chief medical officers.

His role has been expanded to allow him to ensure coordination between the testing and test and trace programmes, supporting Baroness Harding.

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