Government should abandon privatised test and trace system following failings - Green Party

20 July 2020

  • Greens urge government to instead fund local public health teams who already have expertise and public trust

The Green Party has urged the government to abandon the privatised test and trace system [1] following reports of a series of serious failings.

Green health spokesperson Larry Sanders has said the money should instead be used to fund locally-based test and trace protection schemes run by local authorities and regional Public Health England teams.

The call follows reports of data breaches within the test and trace system [2] and claims that only half those at risk in towns in the north-west are being contacted [3].

Sanders said:

“It was wholly inappropriate to award this contract to Serco in the first place, particularly when local public health teams were already in place with the necessary expertise and trust within their communities to deliver an effective and transparent test and trace system.

“The failings that are now coming to light show the warnings that were made at the time should have been heeded before lives were put at risk. 

“We must be aiming to join the countries which have brought the infection rate to nearly zero, rather than our current position as a country with one of the highest proportional death rates. 

“Instead, the privatised system the government has put all of its faith in is deeply flawed and has increased our vulnerability to coronavirus. 

“The government must now take urgent action by cancelling Serco’s contract and backing the local teams who are much better prepared to put in place a comprehensive and safe test and trace system.”

ENDS 

Notes

            1

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/06/serco-wins-covid-19-test-and-trace-contract-despite-1m-fine

            2

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-government-admits-its-test-and-trace-programme-is-unlawful-12032136

            3

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/19/test-and-trace-failures-risk-exponential-coronavirus-case-growth-in-england-official-warns






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