PRIVATISED TRACK AND TRACE HAS BEEN A FAILURE. THE UK GOVERNMENT SHOULD FOLLOW OUR EXAMPLE HERE IN WALES.
We are moving into our first winter as a country truly shaped by coronavirus and as a nation, we need our Governments in Westminster and Cardiff to be on the ball and get our response right to save lives.
I appreciate this has been a challenge that we’ve faced like no other, however for the good of the country Boris Johnson and the UK Government need to hold their hands up and accept they’ve got it wrong on outsourcing the track and trace system in England.
Instead of addressing the failures of a privatised and centralised contact tracing model, they’ve squandered millions outsourcing track & trace to big private companies, some of them with truly terrible track records. In October the contact rate in England was as low as 63%!
We can’t afford to have companies like Serco putting the public’s health at risk with their frightfully low contact rates.
Thankfully in Wales contact tracing is devolved to local communities, and our local authorities have been resourced to do it properly.
We can be proud that our track and trace is a public service that is locally run, achieving a 96% contact rate since 21 June. I believe this model where a public service is being delivered in the public sector for the public interest is the best way forward and the results speak for themselves.
Therefore, I am urging the government to hand over control of contact tracing to councils and local public health teams, following revelations that the national – largely privatised – system is only making a marginal difference to addressing rapidly rising rates of Covid-19 infection.
For months, Labour has been asking this government to put contact tracing into the hands of councils and local public health teams who know their own communities better than anyone.
In the face of all the evidence, I can’t believe the Tories are continuing with a system that rewards failure by handing enormous sums of money to big companies which deliver such poor results.
The government should look at the science, follow my call to transfer control of contact tracing to local authorities, so that we can better protect people’s lives and livelihoods.