By Sally Underwood • 10 March 2021 • 13:05
According to reports, the NHS Test and Trace programme had no impact.
The UK’S Public Accounts Committee report said the expensive plan had been put in place in order to prevent some Covid restrictions, but had failed.
It also criticised the amount of money spend on Test and Trace, however Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the MPs’ report “defies logic.”
The report also claimed the programme had an over-reliance on consultants, with some paid more than £6,600 (€7,703) a day, as well as saying there had been a failure to be ready for the surge in demand for tests seen last September.
Further criticisms include Test and Trace never meeting its target to turn around tests done face-to-face within 24 hours, as well as spending on rapid tests with no clear evidence they will help.
Committee chairwoman Meg Hillier said it was hard to point to a “measurable difference” the programme had made.
However, Mr Shapps said it was “thanks to Test and Trace” that UK cases of Covid variants have had limited numbers.
After Mr Shapps was asked why expensive consultants were still being used at a time when the government had said a 1 per cent pay rise for NHS staff was all that it could afford, he said he did not know the detail but defended the “complexities” of the job that Test and Trace needed to do.
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Originally from London, Sally is based on the eastern Costa del Sol and is a journalist for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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