Government gives Serco Test and Trace contract worth millions despite a history of failure

Support us and go ad-free Outsourcing giant Serco has won a new contract worth up to £322m to continue running coronavirus (Covid-19) testing sites for another year. Bosses said they signed a new deal with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to operate regional, local, and mobile testing centres in England and Northern …
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MPs say ‘no clear evidence’ Test and Trace scheme works in critical report

A cross-party group of MPs has said there’s “no clear evidence” the £22bn Test and Trace scheme contributed to lower coronavirus (Covid-19) infection levels. “Staggering” Meg Hillier, chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) behind a critical report, urged the government to justify the “staggering investment of taxpayers’ money”. The MPs said ministers had …
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Financial watchdogs criticise government’s car crash handling of Test and Trace

Financial watchdogs have sharply criticised the government’s handling of the coronavirus (Covid-19) Test and Trace operation and insisted it must do better. Not enough and too few Not enough test results are delivered within 24 hours, and too few contacts of infected people are being reached and told to self-isolate, an interim study by the …
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Boris Johnson shamelessly uses an MP’s Covid diagnosis to plug his failed Test and Trace system

Boris Johnson has, once again, made news headlines for being exposed to coronavirus (Covid-19). And yet again, Downing Street appears reckless in taking the necessary precautions to prevent the virus from spreading. Not one to miss a trick, the prime minister grabbed the opportunity to shamelessly plug the Test and Trace system in a home-made …
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Serco profits soar while Test and Trace reaches lowest ever proportion of contacts

The NHS Test and Trace system has reached the lowest ever proportion of contacts of people who tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19) in England. Four in 10 close contacts of people who tested positive are still not being reached by the system, at the same time as it recorded its highest weekly number of positive …
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Firms urge government to sort out the outsourced Test and Trace system

The government needs to sort out the outsourced Test and Trace system because the welcomed extension to the furlough scheme is just a short-term fix, business leaders have said. They point out that it’s a key weapon in the fight against the virus, it would boost confidence, and mean workers are not asked to self-isolate …
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Pressure mounts on government to sack NHS Test and Trace chief

The government is resisting pressure to sack the head of NHS Test and Trace. It comes amid deepening concern from ministers and MPs that the system is failing to stem the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19). “Untenable” Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis insisted that baroness Dido Harding was doing “a very good job”. This is after …
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Billions to track and trace

We need your help … The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads. Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds …
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MPs slam government for paying £7k a day to private sector Test and Trace consultants

Opposition MPs have slammed the government for paying £7k day rates to private sector consultants who’re helping the government to set up and run its testing system. Michael Gove has defended the practice. Sky News has reported that it had seen documents revealing Boston Consulting Group (BCG) was paid about £10 million for around 40 …
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Serco profits set to soar as contract for ‘broken’ Test and Trace system is extended

Outsourcing giant Serco has said it expects profits to exceed expectations in 2020 as a result of the uptick in work since the global pandemic. Updating the London Stock Exchange in an unexpected announcement, the company said the excess profits could now be returned to shareholders, with a consultation on dividend payments under way. The …
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