Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1098/31217

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 August 2020

Tory track and trace failure

  (Click to enlarge)

An NHS contact tracer

After wasting months, with Covid cases rising in more areas, the government has been forced to partly retreat from its failing centralised and privately run Track and Trace scheme in England. It will now be more "locally targeted".

The Tories were determined to use the pandemic to push their privatisation goals. Leaked emails show outsourcing company Serco was approached in January to provide a contact-tracing service, later being awarded an initial 108 million contract.

Serco's Chief Executive is Rupert Soames, Winston Churchill's grandson - an old-Etonian and Bullingdon Club member like Boris Johnson and David Cameron.

Soames wrote that, if successful, Serco's contact tracing "will go a long way in cementing the position of the private sector companies in the public sector supply chain."

It has been disastrously unsuccessful! National call centres run by Serco and US-owned Sitel reached only 56% of contacts of Covid cases in the first week of August.

At least 80% must isolate to control virus spread. Call centre staff have been sitting for hours, with no cases to follow up.

I'm an NHS contact tracer, and I'm meant to follow up more complex cases, and those the Serco/Sitel call centres failed to reach.

But it's the same remote telephone-based system. I've also had very few calls in ten weeks (and very few shifts available to book on a zero-hour contract). Calls from the 0300 number often go unanswered or go to voicemail.

Asking someone with a positive test who they have been in contact with is just part of what is needed. Their contacts must be followed up and asked to isolate for fourteen days.

A gaping hole in the government's scheme is the lack of support for cases and contacts. Full pay with jobs held open must be guaranteed.

Otherwise workers on zero-hour contracts or fearing redundancy will feel they can't afford isolation.

Those testing positive will be reluctant to isolate themselves or give contact details for fellow workers or family members who can't afford to lose pay.

Anyone living in small or crowded homes can't isolate from others. Empty hotel rooms and student halls of residence should be used to provide alternative accommodation during isolation if needed, along with food, other supplies, and medical and social support.

The Tories have allocated 10 billion for their privately run track and trace scheme - more than 100 times Public Health England's 90 million pre-Covid annual infectious diseases budget.

Serco, Sitel, Amazon and all other profit-seeking corporations need replacing by well-funded public health services. These local authority services were drastically run down during years of austerity.

Even so, they report much better response rates than the privatised system, They need to be urgently ramped up and coordinated with local NHS-run Covid test centres and GPs - something private companies have failed to do.

Local contact tracers, who know their area and the people who live and work there, are much more likely to be trusted than a remote call centre-based system.

Serco, Sitel and NHS Professionals workers in the existing scheme should be offered retraining and jobs in a publicly run and locally based service.

Labour councils should be immediately building these teams up, demanding the money the government has showered on Serco and other profiteers.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 19 August 2020:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Students 2 : 0 Tories - Protests work!

Student protests force government retreat

"As a working-class student, I already faced struggles"

Tory track and trace failure

Tory planning deregulation: a charter for building profitable slums

NHS workers demand improved pay - 15% for all now!


International socialist news and analysis

Revolutionary mood in Lebanon following horrific explosion

Mass protests and strikes rock Belarus


Leon Trotsky

80th anniversary of Leon Trotsky's assassination

Yorkshire: Celebrating the life and ideas of Leon Trotsky


Education

September school return must be safe for all workers and students


NHS pay

NHS pay: unions must take fight to U-turn Tories


Socialist history

75 years since the publication of Animal Farm: From 'two legs bad' to 'two legs better'


Workplace news and analysis

300 Covid cases at Northampton food plant - management to blame, not the workers!

PCS union: Vote Yes in DWP ballot! Reject longer opening hours

Support the Tower Hamlets council workers, vote for Hugo Pierre!


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Black Lives Matter: this generation is willing to stand up and fight

We can't take any more cuts

Nottingham: oppose the far right and attempts to divide us

Your donations help us campaign

Leeds: Little London residents are celebrating

To push change we need to be organised - why we joined the Socialist Party

Sheffield: Support Sue

Brighton: Another luxury development

The Socialist: back to weekly soon


 

Home   |   The Socialist 19 August 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Tory:

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: Britain in the Covid storm - Fightback needed against Tory attacks

triangleNorth East lockdown: simmering anger at Tory incompetence

triangleTory Covid chaos

triangleJohnson's brinkmanship over EU deal deepens capitalist splits

triangleCovid-19 pandemic increases financial pressures on Welsh local government

NHS:

triangleFund NHS and pay rise now

triangleNHS workers: "We deserve a fair wage" - 15% now!

triangleCoventry: scrap 'profit before people' hospital parking charges

triangleAngry health workers demand 15% now!

Covid:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleCovid and the campuses

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Covid - A young workers' charter

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

23/9/20

Housing

Extend eviction ban! Cap rents! Build council homes!

23/9/20

Coronavirus

Testing shambles: unions must fight back

23/9/20

Universities

Covid and the campuses

23/9/20

Coronavirus

North East lockdown: simmering anger at Tory incompetence

23/9/20

NHS

Fund NHS and pay rise now

23/9/20

Coronavirus

Tory Covid chaos

23/9/20

Banks

'FinCEN Files' expose rampant financial corruption: nationalise the banks!

23/9/20

Amazon

News in brief

23/9/20

Schools

Johnson's schools social-distancing lie

17/9/20

Britain

Britain's fragile Covid equilibrium is coming to an end

16/9/20

NHS

NHS workers: "We deserve a fair wage" - 15% now!

16/9/20

Covid

Capitalist profit and the race to develop a vaccine

16/9/20

Covid

Covid and the third sector: for public planning, not charity stopgaps

16/9/20

Profit

Under the microscope

16/9/20

Covid

'Covid marshalls' must be accountable to communities

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999