The Socialist

The Socialist 7 October 2020

Tories put profit first: Gambling with our jobs and lives

The Socialist issue 1104

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Contact tracer speaks out: privatised system 'in chaos'

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An NHS contact tracer

On Saturday 3 October, at 2pm, I got a text from NHS Professionals: "CALL TO ACTION we have an urgent requirement to fill additional shifts this weekend. Please log on to book into shifts."

I did book four hours on Sunday. For most of the summer, I had very few people who had tested positive for Covid-19 assigned to me to call during shifts, and very few shifts available to book. The past few weeks I've had a few more shifts and three or four calls to make.

On Sunday I had 20! Each call normally takes 30 to 45 minutes, but most aren't answered and go to voicemail.

There were no shifts available on Sunday to book for Monday or Tuesday. But Monday afternoon, I got another text: "URGENT: Test and Trace shifts available for today evening and throughout the day tomorrow."

The privatised and centralised Serco/Sitel system seems to be in chaos. Just about everyone except the government now agrees with what the Socialist has argued from the start - contact tracing should be a locally based, properly funded public service.

Where has the much-vaunted 'efficiency' of profit-run big business got us?

Stop press: local tracing cut back

As the Socialist was going to press, contact tracers had been told not to inform local health protection teams of positive cases who work or attend any educational setting.

Apparently, single cases in these settings - obvious risks for wide spread of the virus - are no longer followed up locally!

As an individual, I can't know whether there's a single or multiple cases in a school or workplace. That's why it needs escalation, so local follow-up can stop the virus spreading.

Even if local teams still somehow receive notification of multiple cases, they will lose the advance warning provided by single cases.

In this issue

Coronavirus news

Tories put profit first: Gambling with our jobs and lives

Massive testing 'glitch' caused by privatised fragmentation

Contact tracer speaks out: privatised system 'in chaos'

Under the microscope

Workplace news

Unison: Hugo Pierre's fighting programme to transform the union

Equity 'Panto Parade' demands more support for arts workers

Tate strike suspended

Ikea day of action

York couriers' strike


Fight for jobs and homes for all - defend the right to asylum

Spooks step up surveillance of left

Probation Service: 'angry, frustrated' staff need fighting lead


Cardiff student protest demands: 'refund our fees!'

Southampton students oppose unjust collective punishment

Black History Month

Non-fiction: 'Why I no longer talk to white people about race'


Worldwide capitalist crisis deepens - step up the fight for socialism

'Frozen conflict' reignites in Nagorno-Karabakh enclave

Germany: "Heroes" strike to demand a pay rise


9,000 for education by Netflix

Free Siyanda Mngaza

Leicester: Don't let them close our hospital

Waltham Forest: Council picks over 60 sites for mass gentrification

Say no to finance capital-backed luxury tower block in Enfield

Socialist Party: Campaigning for the NHS

Final total: 73,586 raised - now let's do it again

Defend Bracknell Community Services

Readers' opinion

Film: 'Sick' - 'They've got people looking in the wrong direction'

The Socialist Inbox


Home   |   The Socialist 7 October 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

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7 October 2020