1000’s of staff within the authorities’s new take a look at and hint name centre didn’t hint a single contact of a coronavirus case within the first three weeks of operation.
Between them the 25,000 name handlers contacted a complete of solely 15,812 individuals to inform them to isolate.
The federal government says the system has contacted 114,000 individuals who might have been uncovered to the virus.
However the overwhelming majority of those had been discovered by current public well being groups.
An investigation by BBC Panorama has found that 98,000 of the contacts had been traced by solely 870 public well being officers.
The native officers work for Public Well being England and are consultants in touch tracing. They’re chargeable for managing extra complicated circumstances, like outbreaks in colleges and care houses, which frequently reveal bigger numbers of contacts.
Initially of the coronavirus outbreak, a report written by Public Well being England for the federal government’s SAGE group of advisers referred to as for a ten-fold improve in touch tracing capability.
Public Well being England has instructed Panorama that the variety of public well being officers has solely been elevated from 380 to 870.
The federal government has contracted new name centre work to the personal sector.
Insiders have instructed Panorama that they’ve made hardly any profitable telephone calls.
One name handler, who requested to not be recognized, mentioned: “I’ve had zero circumstances, completely zero, none in any respect. I’ve completed roughly two to a few shifts per week and I really feel responsible for being paid to do nothing.”
One other name handler mentioned: “It is actually stunning while you see the politicians on the briefings saying how properly the contact tracing service goes as a result of the individuals which are truly working for the service know that that is not true. Completely not true.”
The federal government’s take a look at and hint system has been unable to contact one in 4 individuals who have examined constructive for the illness.
The Division of Well being says name handlers telephone individuals ten instances earlier than giving up on making an attempt to make contact. It says it has constructed a take a look at and hint system with adequate capability for the longer term, so having an overcapacity is an actual success.
“NHS Check and Hint has already helped to cease greater than 100,000 individuals from unknowingly spreading the virus.
“Now we have constructed, from scratch, a large-scale testing programme at tempo and might now present a take a look at to anyone who wants one – with over 8.7 million assessments delivered to date and the capability to hold out greater than 200,000 assessments per day.
“That is an implausible achievement, which might not have been doable with out the dedication and dedication of the private and non-private sector working collectively, one thing BBC Panorama appears reluctant to acknowledge.”