Covid-19: Test, Track and Trace
The Government needs to urgently improve the test, track and trace system to ensure that it works effectively. The Government’s decision to put private firms like Serco and Deloitte in charge, instead of using local expertise, clearly is not working. Local public health teams should be leading this service as they are the people that know their communities, and are in regular contact with hospitals, the police and community groups. Test and Trace should be rebuilt as a locally led service, with our local authorities central to the process with an involvement in ensuring that councils get the financial support packages they need.
After Croydon’s Incredible efforts to bring Covid cases down, we must be ready for possible autumn increases. In the Commons chamber, I asked the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock MP, for certainty on outbreak control budgets beyond the new year, so councils can be reassured that Government will support them through a local outbreak.
I am very concerned about the lack of testing available to residents and have been contacted by a number of people saying that testing has ground to a halt in our schools. I wrote to Matt Hancock demand urgent action at this crucial time. Read more about my concerns here. I have also written to the Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse, to call for police and firefighters to get priority access to testing or our frontline will be put at risk.
I recently went on BBC’s Politics Live programme, where I raised concerns about the Government’s handling of the Covid crisis. The Prime Minister's incompetence and inability to provide a clear message to the public threatens our jobs, our security and our international reputation. The decision to unpick the Brexit deal instead of tackling the Covid crisis is a dangerous mistake. Watch a clip from the programme here.