Hancock to copy Scottish test and trace system TWO MONTHS late

Since the Scottish Government launched its ‘Test and Protect‘ system on the 25th May, we have seen it smoothly deal with the outbreak in the Dumfries area.

Here is how it works:

As soon as someone gets a positive test for Covid-19, the contact tracing system will be triggered. The patient will be put in touch with the local contact tracing team to talk through and identify close contacts. At present, most of this will be conducted by telephone calls. Phone apps are in development but Nicola Sturgeon has said that “old-fashioned contact tracing” will be at the heart of the system.


The key to the system’s success has been its integration with existing, experience public health teams in local authorities and the link with the named person who might be infected.

Professor’s Sridhar and Bauld have spoken of the common sense employed here. Professor Pennington and his contacts in the Scottish media have been silent on this. Had there been any failures in the Scottish system might we have heard of them?

In sharp contrast, the Con Government in England, supported by our own Tories, bypassed those same local authorities to privatise the system. We know now from Leicester and from brewing hot-spots in Bradford, and in up to 25 other locations, that these for-profit operators have not provided local authorities with the data they needed to act.

Two months after Scotland and after bad press and outcry from several mayors, Johnson and Hancock have turned. In the Observer today:

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, has bowed to pressure from councils, which demanded full access to the names and data of people in their areas who tested positive for Covid-19, and those with whom they have been in contact, in another major government U-turn. Local authorities and public health officials have been complaining for weeks that they are being hampered in efforts to combat and prevent local outbreaks by lack of access to “named patient data” which would allow them to get straight to the sources of local outbreaks. Now the Observer has been told that Hancock, who has insisted repeatedly that local authorities have all the information they need from the track and trace system, is set to give way and allow access to the named data as well other information already provided, such as postcodes, so long as strict data protection rules and conditions are followed.


Did they only have postcodes before? Really? Who thought that could work?

Might BBC Scotland’s Disclosure team now follow up one or two folk in Annan who have been ‘traumatised’ by the SNP system’s contempt for their human rights? Might the local Tories feature? They have plans for human rights legislation don’t they?

25 thoughts on “Hancock to copy Scottish test and trace system TWO MONTHS late”

  1. Private health services are designed to make profit,not support public health initiatives.
    No surprises when it fails,we just need to look at the ultimate model of privatised health,the US of A,where the pandemic is rapidly becoming out of control.
    Perhaps there are other political factors involved,a presidential re-election campaign and the perceived need here in the UK of E to get Brexit done but even though,surely lessons will be learned?
    Perhaps not.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Does anyone know why the data was withheld.
    John hints that it was money and i am sure it must be, it always is with the tories but how? It could be straight forward incompetence and/or it costing more to share the data than not but why be so stubborn about an unnecessary potentially life threatening policy.
    It is completely unfathomable to me that there would need to be a u turn to make?
    As with most things the tories do the only theories that could rationally explain their insanity are insane theories. I have a few mad ones.
    That could be the plan, gaslight us with insane behaviour. Wings wrote a piece about sex self sex identification and it really was insightful. Insane ideas can be slipped in because no body thinks anyone could be that insane. Trump and Cummingson are using the same strategy.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. They don’t care. They don’t care if 10% of the population die, as long as it isn’t them, but as soon as it starts affecting say trade with other countries, then they have to show good. Money yes, they’ve used the pandemic as an excuse to hand over million pound contracts to their pals (likely getting a hefty sum squirrelled away into their own tax haven accounts), same with brexit – each and every one of the U.K. Cabinet ministers will be raking it in from the policies and ’emergency power’ decisions they make. You can’t assign your own values to these elites of our society, an individual death outside (huh, probably within as well) their group is meaningless to them, particularly if they personally benefit from it. They really don’t care.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ‘They don’t care.’
        I get that, but it must be profitable for them not to care otherwise there is a 50-50 chance on what they care about but it isn’t it always involve money and/or ideology.
        But how could withholding data from local authorities be in any way profitable for them. Unless the private companies are intending to sell the data?
        I keep thinking there is a reason but then i come back to the insanity theories. You can understand why some people invent lizard creatures because at least it has some cause and effect.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 😀 true, about the lizards.

        I see what you mean – I think here is where we have to realise how much public services have been cut in England, they don’t have the capacity or ability to make disseminating actual information easy (like they have outsourced tax auditing, and HMRC just doesn’t have the capacity – people or funding – to make sure taxes are paid and are correct; that’s why it couldn’t be used to make simple universal basic income payments or any of the other ideas and for keeping businesses from going bust). So, it’s a bother to release that info (which still needs to be private regarding individuals), they would need to start investing in people again to make it work – and, as we know, they don’t care enough. The incentive to start doing it? I think it’s because they look bad and won’t get international trade if the numbers of cases aren’t reduced, so some investment. Possibly.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. And yes gaslighting with insane behaviour – there is a link with PIE, which is the paedophile information exchange, that went underground after its failed attempt to campaign for the legal age of consent to be lowered to 9, to the biology-denying ruse of ‘sex doesn’t exist’ – this is meant to be a test bed to see how well a population can be manipulated into thinking something that’s against their own best interests and completely insane is completely normal and acceptable. They seem to be doing quite well at it.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. When I was reading stuff in the first few weeks of the pandemic I found articles or tweets – maybe from Allyson Pollock? Sam might remember or know – about how much public health England had been cut, quietly, in the background so no one would notice. Regional offices closed, a central office that wasn’t sufficient. Effectively all their track and trace teams have lost their jobs years ago, they are probably looking on in bewilderment at the state of the English response. I wonder if they will be reemployed now…

    I note that there are quite a few people touting conspiracy theories about the pandemic – these have been about since the start and I didn’t pay much attention, but it does seem to be fairly widespread. I haven’t talked to anyone directly that believes it’s a conspiracy so I’ve started becoming curious about what it is that’s actually the conspiracy. I’ve lost the link now, but I came across a tweet that a fair few folk used to tout their theories – the tweet was promoting a paramedics story (in England) about how he’s been sitting twiddling his thumbs for most of these past few months as a shocking revelation. The people replying used this as absolute proof that variously the government (uk) was lying about the whole thing; lying about the number of deaths; the whole thing was a ruse; that it’s actually the flu etc – so there doesn’t seem to be any coherent agreement on what the conspiracy actually is (does Covid-19 exist or doesn’t it? Does it kill or doesn’t it?)) . What I found strange was that no one postulated that of course the paramedic wasn’t busy – we’d been told NOT to phone 999! Anyway, if parts of the health services got a well deserved rest, good on them. And it’s a mighty conspiracy that encompasses every single country’s government in the world, all the health professionals, and kills a large number of people (excess deaths) in countries whose governments deny its real. I suppose aliens could be taking over and sending out hit squads to create the excess deaths,,,

    Anyway, it’s good to check these things out – conspiracies DO exist (even if most theories are wrong) – to check for any veracity, but it seems like people are just expressing an extreme distrust of authorities, which is fair enough, unless it leads to more death.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Contrary,

      As always, Professor Pollock has interesting things to say on public health.

      Erosion of local communicable disease control in England
      At its height, local communicable disease control was supported by more than 60 national, regional, and local public health laboratories. The service was strengthened from 1977-2002 by the creation of the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre in Colindale.

      Erosion began after NHS reorganisation in 1974 and continued when the Public Health Laboratory Service Board was abolished in 2003 and its local laboratories transferred to NHS trusts, at the same time as communicable disease control was centralised in the Health Protection Agency.

      In 2012, the Health and Social Care Act abolished locally based bodies in England and carved public health functions out of the NHS. Public Health England was set up as an executive agency to fulfil the government’s duty to protect the public from disease, with only nine laboratories and eight regional centres. Local authorities were charged with improving public health. Each local authority was required, acting jointly with the secretary of state, to appoint a director of public health, with responsibility for exercising the authority’s public health functions.


  4. Bet the Tories and red Tories in Scotland would be apoplectic if the shoe was on the other foot.

    Too little too late Hancock should be given his jotters, surely the Britnats in Scotland will be calling for that, given the seriousness and the unecessary deaths in England on his watch, won’t they? BBC, STV, and the rest of the ‘media’ must be very busy this weekend writing their articles demanding that Hancock be sacked, no? They will however be doing word summersaults to try blaming the ScotGov, somehow it must be Sturgeon’s fault, surely.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Interesting that they are so hot on enforcing data protection.
    Of course when the Scottish Government applies data protection laws as in the case of Nike, they are accused of ” cover-up”.
    Funny that.


  6. I guess the post-code data was provided so that “economic units” of several houses could be isolated at once without bothering to check who was infected. It typifies tha Tory approach to human beings as part of an economic system not as part of society.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Not sure your headline is strictly correct, the latest U-turn is over the release of fuller information rather than switching to the expanded version of the existing system in Scotland.

    If I recall correctly SG had a battle royal with Hancock over the same issues, the government contractor had first provided zero information, then some but inadequate, then minus ethnicity, a series of monumental Hancock-Ups all because of the Tory obsession on outsourcing.

    As Big Jon 998 summarised above, the Tory approach to everything is as a factory conveyor belt, they the generation of managers completely out of their depth. For months they insist it is all working fine until someone points out the silence in the building and the blown fuse.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Just as an aside – How is the £80million tracker ‘App’ coming along?
    Remember that, eh? ……………………


  9. With reference to tracker apps I noted in the Irish Times 16/7/20 that their app was launched this week. The total cost of it was stated to date as Euro 850,000 including Nearform’s fee, paying for the testing, security and the data protection impact assessment!


  10. If things are a bit slow today maybe some of you would like a read of this.

    Insert Scotland in this part and there we have it.

    It is our colonial constitution that is the problem. It meant that 75 years after Federation we still had unelected English people deliberating on the whys, wherefores and hows of bringing down a democratically elected Australian government. And that to this day, our government leaders must still report in to the English and swear fealty to Her Majesty.


  11. The U Turns are becoming so frequent now, it looks like they’re trapped on a roundabout.
    Now if only they could figure out a way to capitalise on this achievement and overtake themselves thereby disappearing up their own Borifice.

    Liked by 2 people

    BBC Scotland understands the outbreak involves a call centre which carries out coronavirus contact tracing for Public Health England

    Later amended to tracing for NHS


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