Reader Letter: Test and trace system is seriously deficient
- Credit: PA
We urgently need a true NHS Test and Trace system.
Serco got the contract to organise the Test and Trace system last May. The contract is coming up for renewal. But the system is seriously deficient, lacking proper contact tracing and the necessary comprehensive support service so that people can isolate without fear of the consequences for their families and finances.
With that in place, more people would feel able to get tested if unwell. Now more than ever, having got back to low rates of infection in the UK but with the Indian variant appearing to be a significant threat, a true NHS Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support System is vital.
Norfolk Public Health is part of a pilot scheme where the local team is notified about positive tests as soon as possible rather than only once the call centre staff have failed to make contact.
But they have not been authorised to do full contact tracing. Nor have sufficient resources been provided. A total of £37bn has gone to Serco and its subcontractors, with no detectable benefit, according to the Public Accounts Committee.
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What could have been achieved if that money, equivalent to about a quarter of the annual NHS budget, had gone to the NHS and Public Health?
Scrap Serco. Give local public health teams the money to run Test and Trace.
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