A damaging report by MPs claims that the £37 billion NHS Test and Trace service has been an eye wateringly costly mess.
It’s failed to break chains of COVID transmission, prevent lockdowns or allow people to return to a more normal way of life.
The organisation, previously led by former TalkTalk boss Baroness Harding, also had muddled objectives.
Spending on Test and Trace is equivalent to almost a fifth of the 2020/21 NHS England budget.
Just 45 per cent of testing capacity was used between November 2020 and April 2021, and at times as few as 11 per cent of contact centre staff were being used.
Only 96 million lateral flow tests it distributed were registered, and it’s not clear what benefit the remaining 595 million tests have achieved.
The programme was championed by the then Health Secretary Matt Hancock, whilst Prime Minister Boris Johnson described it as world-beating.
Despite committing to decrease consultants, paid an average of £1,100 a day, the service employed more in April 2021 (2,239) than in December 2020 (2,164).
Committee chairman Dame Meg Hillier said that it set out bold ambitions but has failed to accomplish them despite the large amounts launched at it.
Meanwhile, the professor who helped create the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab has said it’s unfair to bash the United Kingdom over high numbers of COVID cases – around 40,000 in a day in recent weeks.
Professor Sir Andrew Pollard said that if you look across western Europe, they have approximately ten times more tests done each day than some other countries.
The damaging report has been published just ahead of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget, where he will lay out the details of the newly announced £6 billion funding boost for the NHS.
It details how the Test and Trace system failed to hit set targets and that spending on consultants was out of control.
Matt Hancock had promised that the system would enable the Government to circumvent the use of national lockdowns and instead get the contacts of people who had contracted COVID 19 to isolate.
The report also describes how less than half of contact tracers who’d been hired were ever in use at any one time.
It said that NHS Test and Trace had a 50 per cent target utilisation rate for its contact centre staff, but the highest reached was 49 per cent at the start of January 2021 and that this had dropped to 11 per cent by the end of February 2021.
This has quite clearly made certain people extremely rich, and we should start finding out who they are and start recovering those funds from these individuals whilst they can still be traced.
This is what’s commonly known as legalised theft, and this cosy arrangement with the private sector requires a full-scale public enquiry of its own. Perhaps we should deduct the politician’s wages who supported this and had a share in it?
They don’t care because they’ve all made their millions, and the Government should give a full breakdown of precisely what the money was spent on and who really benefited, and there’s even more wastage to come with Boris Johnson’s green plans.
But the Tories have always been inept with our money. Not only do they not fix the roof when the sun shines, they take the roof off because they don’t believe we need it, and Government is appallingly bad at spending taxpayers money, and when they’ve spent it impulsively they want more from us.