PHE's Test and Trace system gets Emma back doing what she loves

Picking up the phone and talking to customers is what our business development manager, Emma Filmer loves about her job, so to find herself taking a short break from work during COVID-19, without the buzz of chatting to Midwich customers, was the thing she missed the most. Not wanting her skills to be wasted during this time, Emma heard about the drive for call handlers in the Test and Trace team for Public Health England (PHE) and knew she’d be perfect for it.

A week later she was fully trained and ready to pick up the phone, albeit in very difficult circumstances.

As Emma prepares to return to work, we asked her about the experience as a Tier 3 Call Handler during the pandemic.


Name – Emma Filmer

Job title – business development manager - scan

Date you started at Midwich – I’ve now had two stints at Midwich totalling 7 ½ years (4 years second time around).

Q Please tell us in a short paragraph how you have been lending your support during COVID-19?

A: I supported the Test and Trace system which is run by PHE. I was a Tier 3 Call Handler which meant I was tracing close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifying them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus. As you can imagine, some very tricky and uncomfortable phone calls.

Q: Why did you choose to take this role?

A: I didn’t want to sit back and do nothing. I always like to be kept busy and try to develop new skills, so this role allowed me to combine the two. Above all, I wanted to make a small difference during the pandemic and I felt I achieved that.  

Q: How many hours did you complete?

A: I completed 150 hours, which sounds a lot, but the time flew by.

I initially trained for a full week as well as learning numerous systems along the way. The role also meant completing a substantial number of certifications, which I’ve listed below.

  • Health Education England Data Security Awareness Level 1 (Core Skills Training Framework)
  • Safeguarding Children Level 1
  • Safeguarding Adults Level 1
  • NHS COVID-10 Trace Programme (PHE)
  • WOW Customer Service Training (MyAcademy)
  • Its all about Digital, Improving Skills in a Digital Channel (MyAcademy)