NHS Test and Trace was a £37 billion flop, according to a new report.
A staggering £37 billion of taxpayer’s money has been used on NHS Test and Trace. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have compiled a report. The report reveals that some consultants were paid more than £1,000 a day. Over 2000 consultants were hired for NHS Test and Trace.
Dame Meg Hillier is the chairman of the public accounts committee. She believes that the system failed. The Government though have defended the programme saying that nearly “20 million people” were “contacted who could otherwise have unknowingly transmitted the virus”.
Dame Hillier stated: “The national Test & Trace programme was allocated eye-watering sums of taxpayers’ money in the midst of a global health and economic crisis.
“It set out bold ambitions but has failed to achieve them despite the vast sums thrown at it.”
The government previously dropped around 6000 contract tracers after it was revealed that many had spent time streaming Netflix shows as they had nothing else to do.
The report revealed: “[NHS Test and Trace] has a 50 per cent target utilisation rate for its contact centre staff, but the highest reached was 49 per cent at the beginning of January 2021 and this had fallen to 11 per cent by the end of February 2021.
“Over Christmas 2020, when there appeared to be spare laboratory capacity and Covid-19 cases were rising, performance declined and it took longer to provide test results, with only 17 per cent of people receiving test results within 24 hours in December 2020.”
Speaking to The Telegraph a government spokesperson defended the scheme. The spokesperson said: “NHS Test and Trace has delivered on what it set out to do – break chains of transmission and save lives. To date, over 323 million tests have been delivered and almost 20 million people contacted who could otherwise have unknowingly transmitted the virus.
“We have rightly drawn on the extensive expertise of a number of public and private sector partners who have been invaluable in helping us tackle the virus.
“We’ve built a testing network from scratch that can process millions of tests a day – more than any European country – providing a free LFD or PCR test to anybody who needs one.”
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