The history of Covid outsourcing is scandalous.

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From sam

The history of outsourcing is scandalous.

NHS Outsourcing: Is It Safe?

Deloitte will also be involved in this project which, typically, will promise too much and under deliver while ignoring all the current faults.

“The UK government has drawn up plans to carry out up to 10 million covid-19 tests a day by early next year as part of a huge £100bn (€110bn; $130bn) expansion of its national testing programme, documents seen by The BMJ show.

The internal correspondence reveals that the government is prepared to almost match what it spends on the NHS in England each year (£130bn) to fund mass testing of the population “to support economic activity and a return to normal life” under its ambitious Operation Moonshot programme.

A briefing memo sent to the first minister and cabinet secretaries in Scotland, seen by The BMJ, says that the UK-wide Moonshot programme is expected to “cost over £100bn to deliver.” If achieved, the programme would allow testing of the entire UK population each week.”

The BMA has been on to the fiasco of outsourcing and this link should be a good reference point as it provides a detailed account.

“Delays in delivering test results have been compounded by reports of lost test samples, leaking test vials and incorrectly labelled samples at testing sites and laboratories. And the BMA believes standards vary greatly between the Lighthouse labs, with reports that labs have been disposing large proportions of batches of tests and others not being fully utilised, with dozens of shifts cancelled as a result of a lack of test samples.

Further problems encountered with IT systems and data protection also meant that during the first two months of lockdown, GPs and local authorities were unable to receive timely, detailed information on tests conducted in privately-run sites, despite the commitment in ‘pillar two’ of the Government’s testing programme to link data with patient medical records. The Deloitte contract does not oblige the company to share detailed data with PHE or local authorities. It is a basic failure which, according to many, contributed to an extended lockdown in Leicester.”

6 thoughts on “The history of Covid outsourcing is scandalous.

  1. Scotland,government decisions on heath policy driven by scientific evidence.
    England,all government decisions driven by political ideology.
    Unfortunately,Scottish decisions on health are constrained by political decisions made in England and we are not immune to the chaos spawned by their Tory maniacs in pursuit of political objectives.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Testing everyone, each week for how long? It’s the most ridiculous idea the EngGov have come up with so far. Still, some folks are going to be very, very rich from this. Where is the money coming from exactly?
    Another cheap sticking plaster, costing £billions you could hardly make it up. The Tories and their red Tory pals are really taking the absolute pi*s now. Are people in Englanf OK with their government wasting £billions during a pandemic while not actually saving lives?


  3. Since the introduction of PFI, London government diktats have favoured cashflow to the few, frequently Tory donors, generally based in the south-east, the risks always being carried by the general population.
    Outsourcing is not simply a Tory dogma but a mechanism to ensure continuity of this cashflow arrangement.
    To be blunt, flaws or loopholes in basic contractual obligations are no accident, nobody is that inept, it was designed to fail.


  4. “The government paid a medical company run by a Labour donor to supply ventilators that were more than £40,000 above the usual price.

    Excalibur Healthcare Services, whose chairman is Sir Chris Evans, charged £135 million, or £50,000 each, to supply 2,700 ventilators. Three weeks earlier another company had provided the same model of VG70 ventilator for £8,800.

    Excalibur, which is owned via a secretive offshore structure based in the Isle of Man, said that the fees were due to a surge in competition. As of last year the Isle of Man company was owned by a trust, of which “discretionary beneficiaries include Chris Evans and members of his close family”, company filings show.”


  5. “A firm run by the former business associate of Tory peer Baroness Mone won a £122million contract to supply PPE to the NHS just seven weeks after it was set up.

    PPE Medpro was started by Anthony Page on the day he quit as the secretary of the company that deals with Baroness Mone’s “brand”.

    Just 44 days later, PPE Medpro won a Department of Health contract – not advertised to other bidders – to supply 25 million gowns for health workers.

    Mr Page is also a director of finance firm Knox Group, founded by Baroness Mone’s fiance Doug Barrowman”


  6. “On some occasions the contents appeared to have been guided more by spare inventory than nutritional need – “men’s toiletries”, “bars of soap the size of a 50 pence piece”, “children’s cereal, week after week after week”, “catering-size baked beans”, “loose, crushed and dirty toilet rolls” and food in cellophane without packaging (“so you couldn’t check the sell-by date”) were common. And every week, tin after tin after tin of Heinz tomato soup.

    “Up to stopping the boxes on 1 August, I had 72 tins of tomato soup. The same brand, same flavour, every single week. Nothing in the boxes ever changed,” she recalls. “How soul-destroying is it to get 72 tins of tomato soup?”

    Her loaf of bread always arrived defrosting and wet, and the vegetables were usually on the turn: “Carrots came rubbery, potatoes came sprouting; it was the same every single week.”…

    …These boxes were not supplied by the government itself, but by private companies at a cost of hundreds of millions of pounds to the taxpayer. It must now be asked whether, for an estimated £44 a box, the government could not have secured nutritious food for thousands of medically vulnerable people.

    In March, the government identified 1.5 million clinically vulnerable people who were asked to “shield”: stay indoors for at least 12 weeks to avoid contracting Covid-19 and risk overwhelming hospitals. Because these people could not go shopping for food, between 27 March and 31 July in England the government provided food packages to those who applied for them.

    The contract to provide this food went to two food wholesalers and distributors: Bidfood and Brakes. (The same contractors were used in the equivalent schemes in Scotland and Wales, while Northern Ireland’s Department for Communities provided the same service with councils and voluntary and community organisations, as well as private firms.)

    In April, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said each parcel contained enough food for one person per week, and was intended “to provide basic supplies”. The government claimed to have compiled the contents of the boxes “in consultation with nutritionists and industry groups”, although it admitted that there would be “some limitations around what could be included”. The logistics of the scheme meant that the boxes were limited to “items that can be stored at room temperature”, which it characterised as “tinned goods and longer-lasting fruit such as apples or pears”.

    [see also: Record numbers of people in Britain can’t afford food]


    While the food boxes were organised fast and reached medically vulnerable people without family and friends to help with supplies, their quality was soon called into question.

    A mother called Lorraine Smith who was shielding in Dover, Kent, revealed in July that she was receiving “rotten fruit and veg” in her parcels “every week”, which was reported by a number of newspapers. (At the time, Defra said it “strictly monitored” the box’s contents, while a Brakes spokesperson admitted to Kent Live that “there may be an occasional issue with fresh products” because of the “current season changeover”.)

    A young man shielding alone in Salisbury called Cham Titus was “shocked” by his box’s contents, telling the Salisbury Journal that “for your main meals there’s nothing there”.

    In April, The Times reported that the boxes did not represent “the nutrient-dense diet a sick person needs” and quoted a nutritionist who declared them “short on omega-3, proteins and vitamins A and D in the forms our bodies can absorb”.

    Kath Dalmeny, the chief executive of food and farming charity Sustain, described the boxes as a “mixed picture of food quality”, and the scheme as “logistically impressive” but “nutritionally questionable”.

    This is despite the £208m contract awarded to Bidfood and Brakes. All costs, for both food products and logistics, have been redacted from the contracts displayed on the government’s website, and they also redact the lists of goods the boxes would contain:

    When asked by the New Statesman for the average price of each individual weekly box, and the other costs (for picking, packing and delivery, etc), both Defra and Brakes declined to provide a figure. Bidfood did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

    A Freedom of Information request from the New Statesman for the costs of certain items in the food boxes was also refused by Defra. The department explained that disclosing the cost would “prejudice the commercial interests of the supplier’s [sic] Brakes and Bidfood” and “negate Defra’s ability to achieve value for money”.

    In an exclusive New Statesman analysis of the contents of five boxes received by five different individuals around the country, we calculate that the average cost of one of these boxes from Tesco, including delivery costs, would be £26. Because many of the smaller portions and quantities in the boxes are not available in supermarkets (eg. ten tea bags, ten coffee sachets, miniature soaps, and single loose toilet rolls) the actual cost of those items from Tesco would be lower still.

    Example of a typical box:

    Two kilos potatoes
    One kilo carrots
    Three 30 ounce tins of tomato soup
    One 30 ounce tin of baked beans
    One tin of chicken meatballs
    One tin of mushy peas
    One 500g bag of long grain rice
    One jar of Bolognese sauce
    One 500g packet of spaghetti
    Two litres of long life milk
    Five apples
    Five oranges
    One packet of biscuits
    One box of Cheerios
    Ten tea bags
    Ten instant coffee sachets
    One frozen loaf of sliced white bread
    Two miniature hotel-style shower gels
    One miniature soap, the size of a 50p piece
    Two loose toilet rolls

    However, we do know that 4,724,611 boxes were distributed in England alone under the scheme (a figure revealed via a Freedom of Information request). The £208m contract, divided by this figure, gives us an average cost of over £44 per box.


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