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NHS’s ‘world beating’ £37BILLION Test and Trace program was ‘eyewatering’ waste of taxpayer cash


The £37billion NHS Test and Trace service has been an ‘eye-wateringly costly’ failure, a damning report by MPs claims.

It has failed to interrupt chains of Covid transmission, forestall lockdowns or allow folks to return to a extra regular manner of life.

The organisation, beforehand led by former TalkTalk boss Baroness Harding, additionally had ‘muddled’ aims, the Public Accounts Committee stated.

Spending on Test and Trace is the same as practically a fifth of the 2020/21 NHS England finances.

Just 45 per cent of testing capability was used between November 2020 and April 2021, and at occasions as few as 11 per cent of contact centre workers had been being utilised.

Only 96million of 691million lateral circulation checks it distributed had been registered. And it ‘is just not clear what profit the remaining 595million checks have secured’.

The programme was championed by the then Health Secretary Matt Hancock, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson described it as ‘world-beating’. 

The £37billion NHS Test and Trace service has been an ¿eye-wateringly expensive¿ failure, a damning report by MPs claims

The £37billion NHS Test and Trace service has been an ‘eye-wateringly costly’ failure, a damning report by MPs claims

It has failed to break chains of Covid transmission, prevent lockdowns or enable people to return to a more normal way of life. The organisation, previously led by former TalkTalk boss Baroness Harding (pictured), also had ¿muddled¿ objectives, the Public Accounts Committee said

It has failed to interrupt chains of Covid transmission, forestall lockdowns or allow folks to return to a extra regular manner of life. The organisation, beforehand led by former TalkTalk boss Baroness Harding (pictured), additionally had ‘muddled’ aims, the Public Accounts Committee stated

Despite committing to scale back consultants – paid a mean of £1,100 a day – the service employed extra in April 2021 (2,239) than in December 2020 (2,164).

Committee chairman Dame Meg Hillier stated: ‘It set out daring ambitions however has failed to attain them regardless of the huge sums thrown at it.’

The damning report’s major conclusions 

– NHS Test and Trace ‘has not achieved its major goal to assist break chains of Covid-19 transmission and allow folks to return in the direction of a extra regular manner of life’.

– The programme’s ‘continued over-reliance on consultants is more likely to value taxpayers tons of of hundreds of thousands of kilos’.

– Uptake of providers supplied by Test and Trace is ‘variable’ and ‘solely a minority of folks experiencing Covid-19 signs get a take a look at’, with some teams much less more likely to take checks in contrast with others.

– The programme’s laboratories method and contact centre utilization is ‘nonetheless not versatile sufficient to satisfy altering demand and dangers losing public cash’.

Meanwhile, the professor who helped create the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab has stated it’s unfair to ‘bash the UK’ over excessive numbers of Covid circumstances – round 40,000 a day in latest weeks.

Professor Sir Andrew Pollard stated: ‘If you look throughout western Europe, we now have about ten occasions extra checks accomplished every day than another international locations.’

The damning report has been revealed simply forward of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget, the place he’ll lay out the small print of the recently-announced £6billion funding enhance for the NHS.

It particulars how the Test and Trace system did not hit set targets and that spending on consultants was out of management. 

Mr Hancock had promised that the system would permit the Government to keep away from the use of nationwide lockdowns and as a substitute get the contacts of individuals who had contracted Covid-19 to isolate.

The report additionally particulars how lower than half of contact tracers who had been employed had been ever in use at anybody time.

It stated: ‘[NHS Test and Trace] has a 50 per cent goal utilisation fee for its contact centre workers, however the highest reached was 49 per cent originally of January 2021 and this had fallen to 11 per cent by the top of February 2021.

‘Over Christmas 2020, when there seemed to be spare laboratory capability and Covid-19 circumstances had been rising, efficiency declined and it took longer to supply take a look at outcomes, with solely 17 per cent of folks receiving take a look at outcomes inside 24 hours in December 2020.’

The programme was championed by the then Health Secretary Matt Hancock, whilst Prime Minister Boris Johnson described it as 'world-beating'

The programme was championed by the then Health Secretary Matt Hancock, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson described it as ‘world-beating’

Of the near-700million lateral circulation checks which had been distributed by NHS Test and Trace, solely 14 per cent had been registered online – one thing which is crucial for the unfold of coronavirus to be tracked.

The committee additionally criticised dealing with of the cash, highlighting that the programme has nonetheless not managed to scale back the quantity of costly contractors – who’re paid a mean of £1,100 per day – and has not developed a ‘versatile’ method to utilizing laboratories, which ‘dangers losing public cash’.

Test and Trace’s ‘continued over-reliance on consultants is more likely to value taxpayers tons of of hundreds of thousands of kilos’, the report states.

It has been centered on getting programmes up and operating and ‘paid much less consideration to making sure these programmes delivered the advantages they promised’, it provides.

Dame Meg Hillier said NHS Test and Trace failed to live up to its 'bold' ambitions

Dame Meg Hillier stated NHS Test and Trace did not reside as much as its ‘daring’ ambitions

And uptake of providers supplied by the programme is ‘variable’ as some susceptible persons are a lot much less more likely to take a take a look at than others.

MPs on the cross-party committee stated that because the programme is moved into the brand new UK Health Security Agency it wants a ‘correct long-term technique’.

Dame Hillier added: ‘The continued reliance on the over-priced consultants who ‘delivered’ this state of affairs will by itself value the taxpayer tons of of hundreds of thousands of kilos.

‘For this large quantity of cash we have to see a legacy system able to ship when wanted but it surely’s simply not clear what there will likely be to point out in the long run. This legacy has to catch the attention of authorities if we’re to see any worth for the cash spent.’

MPs have set out a collection of suggestions and recommended enhancements to the programme.

The Test and Trace programme was quickly developed at first of the coronavirus pandemic, spearheaded by Baroness Harding, with the target of testing the nation and tracing contacts of optimistic circumstances.

Dr Jenny Harries, chief government of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), stated in an announcement: ‘NHS Test and Trace (NHSTT) has performed a necessary function in combating this pandemic.

‘As the Public Accounts Committee acknowledges, there have been enhancements in testing capability, turnaround occasions and pace and attain of contact tracing – and improved collaboration with native authorities.

‘The reality is NHSTT is saving lives each single day and serving to us struggle Covid-19 by breaking chains of transmission and recognizing outbreaks wherever they exist.

‘More than 323 million checks have now been carried out throughout the UK. NHSTT has now contacted greater than 19.9 million folks, serving to to sluggish the unfold of the virus.

A authorities spokesman stated: ‘NHS Test & Trace has delivered on what it got down to do – break chains of transmission and save lives.

‘To date, over 323 million checks have been delivered and virtually 20 million folks contacted who might in any other case have unknowingly transmitted the virus.

‘We have rightly drawn on the intensive experience of a quantity of public and personal sector companions who’ve been invaluable in serving to us deal with the virus.

‘We’ve constructed a testing community from scratch that may course of hundreds of thousands of checks a day – greater than any European nation – offering a free LFD or PCR take a look at to anyone who wants one.

‘The new UK Health Security Agency will consolidate the information that now exists throughout our well being system to assist us deal with future pandemics and threats.’

Read More at www.dailymail.co.uk

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