Serco has won a £212m ($278m) contract for disease testing and contract tracing from the UK Health Security Agency, the organisations set up to replace the controversial NHS Test & Trace and doomed Public Health England.
In a contract initially set to last two years, the tech and public sector outsourcing provider will be expected to support services in the country including positive case tracing, contact tracing, isolation follow-up, test enquiries, and test bookings.
Perhaps the most dangerous three words in the English language are ‘Protect the NHS’.
After 18 months of discouraging people from getting treatment in hospital, we are now seeing the catastrophic results.
A report from the National Audit Office (NAO) this week found that up to 740,000 potential cancer patients have been missed since the beginning of the first lockdown in March 2020.
These are people who should have been referred urgently for investigation in hospital, for a disease where delays exponentially increase the risk of death.
The NAO estimates that, since the pandemic began, between 35,000 and 60,000 fewer people than expected have started treatment for cancer.
Up to 740,000 potential cancer cases that should have been urgently referred by GPs have been “missed” since the first lockdown, according to a damning report.
Watchdogs also warned that NHS waiting lists could keep growing until 2025 and even reach double the current six million.
Charities said the report by the National Audit Office (NAO) reflected a “devastating” situation for many patients, with medics warning of “the biggest cancer catastrophe ever to hit the NHS”.
- SAGE admitted early virus modelling based on figures from online encyclopedia
- Committee of scientists advising PM also had no expert on human coronavirus
- Dubious data formed the basis for the group’s calls for first national lockdown
- Experts predicted that the peak would be in June – but it actually came in April
- Impact of care home staff spreading Covid by working in multiple sites not considered
- Scientists failed to consider the impact agency workers would have on spreading Covid in care homes by moving between several different sites to work
- There were more than 30,000 excess deaths in care homes because of Covid in 2020
Professor Mark Jit, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and member of SPI-M, said the group used data from Wikipedia in the UK along with hospitalisations in China and Northern Italy to inform their modelling.
- Government relaxed procurement rules to allow officials to award contracts
- PPE team of 450 staff handed out more than 6,900 contracts worth £12.3billion
- Officials paid £3.8million into the wrong bank account in one instance
- Sabi Mokeddem, 23, was given £880,000 to supply 55,000 coveralls
Our investigation – distinct from from today’s NAO report – uncovers how blundering officials paid £3.8million into the wrong bank account in one instance and handed an £880,000 contract to a 23-year-old with no relative experience in another.
A new report by the National Audit Office confirms that 25,000 people moved from hospitals into care homes between mid-March and mid-April.
Jeremy Hunt, the Conservative former health secretary who now chairs the Commons Health Committee, said the findings were “extraordinary” and came “despite widespread knowledge that the virus could be carried asymptomatically”.