Serco profits soar while Test and Trace reaches lowest ever proportion of contacts

Support us and go ad-free

The NHS Test and Trace system has reached the lowest ever proportion of contacts of people who tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19) in England.

Four in 10 close contacts of people who tested positive are still not being reached by the system, at the same time as it recorded its highest weekly number of positive cases.

A total of 137,180 people tested positive for Covid-19 in England at least once in the week to 28 October – an increase of 8% on the previous week and the highest weekly number since Test and Trace was launched at the end of May.

According to the latest figures, 59.9% of close contacts of people who tested positive in England were reached through the system in the week ending October 28.

  • 97.9% for local health protection teams
  • 58.5% of cases managed online or by call centres

This is the lowest since Test and Trace began and is down from 60.6% for the previous week.

For cases managed by local health protection teams, 97.9% of contacts were reached and asked to self-isolate in the week to 28 October.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

For cases managed online or by call centres, the figure was 58.5%.

Just 26.4% of people who were tested in England in the week ending 28 October at a regional site, local site or mobile testing unit – a so-called “in-person” test – received their result within 24 hours.

This is up from 22.6% in the previous week.

Prime minister Boris Johnson had pledged that, by the end of June, the results of all in-person tests would be back within 24 hours.

He told the House of Commons on 3 June that he would get “all tests turned around within 24 hours by the end of June, except for difficulties with postal tests or insuperable problems like that”.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

Despite such appalling figures and a failing system, Serco, the private company running Test and Trace is profiting. The Guardian reported that:

Shares in Serco surged by 18% on Friday [16 October] after it said it expected to make an underlying profit for the year of between £160m and £165m.

And as We Own It tweeted, “it’s time to put local public health teams in charge”:

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us