health

Overvaluation of services from NHS Test and Trace provider Serco

16 June 2021

By Josh P

NHS Test and Trace provides a system that aims to minimise the spread of Coronavirus. While on paper this system is extremely useful for stopping the spread, there have been numerous reports of underlying issues within the system.

The most recent headline that Test and Trace has been caught up involves the government’s supplier, Serco, charging the NHS over double the hourly rate of what they pay their employees.

As claimed in a Guardian report, government supplier Serco has charged £21.50 per hour for their employees’ services. This valuation contrasts starkly with the earnings set at £9.50 an hour. This clear gap between valuation and employee wages definitely begs questions surrounding the value of this government contract.

This disparity has drawn up controversy as with the resounding uncertainty surrounding employment during the pandemic, it is understandable that people criticise this large margin of difference in value.

Many would argue that workers deserve to have increased wages if there is such a high markup on their services.These findings of overpricing for services also do not help support the value of the Test and Trace service itself. There have been many criticisms of government overspending on the service, with Parliament’s spending watchdog finding that there is no evidence the £27bn service has helped to lower Coronavirus levels.

These claims are extremely worrying and definitely raise questions about the effectiveness of Test and Trace in relation to the budget.

Furthermore, with emerging confirmation that the government unlawfully provided Coronavirus contracts to a firm with links to the Prime Minister’s former chief aide, pressure could certainly be mounting for an explanation of the decisions being made by the government.It is certainly painting a clear picture that there are heavy underlying issues with the currently utilised model of pandemic budget management.

With findings like these building on a frequent basis, there is certainly merit behind any criticism towards the handling of the pandemic in the country.

It will remain interesting to see whether or not NHS Test and Trace continues to create headlines. The service could certainly benefit from some positive news in order to help secure public faith in the handling of the Coronavirus pandemic.

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