SOME contact tracers working for England's NHS Test and Trace are making just a handful of calls a month, reports have suggested.

One worker told The Guardian they had made just a few calls in two months, while another said they had been working for two and a half months and made just four calls.

She said she had seen a spreadsheet showing around 15 calls a day were being made by a team of more than 55 people.

One contact tracer told the newspaper: "We could easily make 30 calls a day. I've worked hundreds of hours and only made a handful of calls, and all of them have gone to voicemail.

"It's been very frustrating, and I'm grappling with my own morals because I'm wasting so much (public) money.

"They keep telling us next week it's going to get more busy, and at first you believe that, but over time reality sets in that I may never make a real call, and I'll be paid thousands of pounds by the Government. That's deeply frustrating if you want to help.

Separate data seen by the newspaper shows 471 agents made just 135 calls in two days.

The Department of Health and Social Care insisted that it is right there is capacity in the system to ensure those who test positive and their contacts get the attention and support they need.

A spokesperson said: "In just eight weeks, NHS Test and Trace has tested more than 2.6 million people for coronavirus and contacted more than 218,000 people who have tested positive for the virus, or recently been in contact with someone who has tested positive - in order to break the chain of transmission.

"We have over 27,000 contact tracers in place to undertake this vital work and anyone with symptoms should book a test."

It comes after the local authority with the highest Covid-19 infection rate in England has set up its own contact tracing system.

Staff from Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council will use their local knowledge to help find people who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.