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Sick mum blocks Test and Trace number after being bombarded with calls

Kathryn Beardow was inundated with calls from the service (Picture: MEN MEDIA)

A mum-of-six who was seriously ill with coronavirus has been forced to block the NHS Test and Trace number after being inundated with calls.

Kathryn Beardow, from Gorton, Greater Manchester, says the service is repeatedly telling her information she already knows after six out of seven members of her household tested positive for Covid-19.

It initially called her each time a family member tested positive, asking who they had been in contact with and where they had been – details which Mrs Beardow provided.

But she has now been contacted dozens of times, with operators phoning her about each child in the family, telling them to self-isolate as they have been in contact with other members of the household.

Mrs Beardow, 38, is now repeatedly getting emails and voicemail messages telling her the same people have tested positive.

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She branded the system ‘totally flawed’, explaining: ‘I was getting bombarded with calls saying I have been in contact with my own children.

‘All in all they are making around 45 calls to one household to tell us we have been in contact with each other. As you are on the phone to one of them, you have another operator ringing you about another child.

The grandmother-of-one added that the calls are particularly frustrating when she has been so ill with the virus and needs to rest, adding: ‘Boris Johnson really needs to do a massive overhaul of the system. I’m now having to block the number, but my mail box keeps getting full from the track and trace’.

Mrs Beardow suffered hallucinations, low blood pressure and a series of other horrifying symptoms (Picture: MEN MEDIA)
The Beardow family were already self isolating when contacted (Picture: MEN MEDIA)

Explaining that she was rushed to hospital after falling ill on September 15, she said: ‘I got a high temperature. I was hallucinating in the evening. I thought there were insects all over my body trying to eat me.’

She tested positive for the virus after getting a test the next day.

Mrs Beardow later collapsed and was sent to hospital.

She continued: ‘I kept going unconscious. My head was pounding and I had really low blood pressure.’

A series of phone calls from Test and Trace (Picture: MEN MEDIA)

She was discharged later that day and told to recover at home where she could isolate with the family.

Her husband Ivan and four of their children have also tested positive – but Mrs Beardow was the most seriously ill and still feels run down, with the family coming to the end of their isolating at home.

She said the last thing she needed was all the calls.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: ‘NHS Test and Trace is one of the largest testing and contact tracing systems in the world.

‘The service is working hard to break chains of transmission, with almost half a million people who may otherwise have unknowingly spreading coronavirus contacted and told to isolate.

‘We are also providing tests at an unprecedented scale – over 240,000 a day on average over the last week – and expanding capacity further to provide 500,000 tests a day by the end of October.’

The spokeswoman also said work is ongoing to ‘improve the management of households’.

She said more information on the issue will be released shortly, but that their approach ‘has been to favour over contacting affected individuals rather than under contacting in order to stem the spread of the disease’.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

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MORE: What to do if someone you’ve been in contact with tests positive for Covid-19

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