Jeane Freeman, SNP MSP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, has outlined what locals should expect if contacted by an NHS contact tracer after fears over phone scams in recent weeks.

Last week, locals were asked to stay vigilant after East Ayrshire Council became aware of an increase in phone scams relating to the coronavirus pandemic.

The council reminded people, especially those vulnerable or shielding, never to give personal details such as bank information over the phone. 

Jeane Freeman, SNP MSP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, said: “I understand that people may be worried about the risks of potential phone scams, but the NHS already has a number of protections in place to stop potential fraudsters and ensure all information is kept confidential.

“Contact tracers will introduce themselves, state the reason for their call, and will always identify who they are calling by name. They will not ask for information about bank accounts or medical records, and they will not try to sell you anything."

Scotland’s approach to implementing the ‘test, trace, isolate, support’ strategy, Test and Protect, is now live across the country.

When contacting individuals who have tested positive, contact tracers will ask people to identify others who they’ve been in close contact with and places they’ve been 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms up until the time they’ve self-isolated.

This information will then be inputted into contact tracing software and used to identify and contact those identified.

The Health Secretary has emphasised that the positive individual will not be named by the contact tracer in line with patient confidentiality, unless they agree to have their details disclosed to help the contact tracing process.

Freeman said: “The tracers will be supported by software which builds on a tried and trusted platform, allowing teams to identify outbreaks and reduce transmission for high risk groups here in Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley.

“Trace and Protect is one way we will tackle this pandemic, but physical distancing and good hand hygiene continues to play a huge role as it minimises the spread of infection.”

The data gathered from Trace and Protect will be stored securely by NHS Scotland and safely destroyed as soon as possible after the pandemic concludes.

If individuals experience any one of the symptoms - a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – they must immediately self-isolate for a minimum of seven days.

As soon as individuals start showing symptoms, they should go to or call 0800 028 2816 to arrange to get tested.