How many Serco contact tracers does it take to get in touch with one Covid19 contact? Five

The 25K Serco contact tracers only got in touch with 5,278 contacts of people who tested positive for Covid19, during the week 28 May-3 June.

This amounted to 20% of the total number of contacts traced that week.

Just as well public health teams are on hand – they traced the other 80% – amounting to 21,707 contacts – in outbreak investigations.

The Department of Health’s first Weekly NHS Test and Trace bulletin 28 May- 3 June 2020 shows that over that week, 31,794 contacts of people who tested positive for Covid19 were identified. Of these, 26,985 were reached and asked to self isolate.

But Serco only got in touch with 5, 278 contacts of the 8,117 people who tested Covid19 positive and were transferred into the government’s contact tracing system. The remaining 21,707 contacts of people who tested positive for Covid 19 were traced by public health teams.

This does seem to beg the question of what Serco is being paid for – and why the government has bypassed the legal process for GPs to notify incidents of Covid19 to local public health authorities, if public health teams are ending up doing the lion’s share of the contact tracing anyway.

End Serco’s role in contact tracing now!

Over 24K people have signed the We Own It petition to Matt Hancock, telling him to ditch Serco and put local public health teams and local health services (including GPs and NHS labs) back in charge of testing and contact tracing in the community. Please sign it if you agree.

The paltry 5,278 contacts traced by Serco are shown in Table 4, Experimental statistics Weekly NHS Test and Trace bulletin, England: 28 May – 3 June 2020, published by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Table 3 in the Weekly Test and Trace bulletin shows that over that week, 31,794 contacts were identified. Of these, 26,985 were reached and asked to self isolate. That means 21,707 contacts were traced by public health teams (26,985 – 5,278).

It’s funny that you only find out about all this work by public health teams through reading unobstrusive footnotes and then doing the arithmetic.

The general consensus is that in order to contain and suppress Covid19, you need 80% of contacts to self isolate. But Serco only managed to get in touch with 67% of the contacts of the 8,117 people who tested Covid19 positive, who were transferred into Serco’s contact tracing system. This is shown in Table 1 in the Weekly Test and Trace bulletin.

(Thanks to @jneill who pointed this out on twitter.)

A leaked email from the chief executive of Serco – Winston Churchill’s grandson Rupert Soames – has revealed how he doubts the scheme will evolve smoothly, but wants Serco’s role to “cement the position of the private sector” in the NHS supply chain.

2 comments

  1. In the paragraph headed  End Sirco’s role in contact tracing now, on the 4th line there is the possibility of signing a petition to Matt Hancock. Unfortunately it isn’t possible to sign it as it appears to have been blocked.Mary Betteridge

    Like

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