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Test and trace axes thousands of clinical staff

The Independent has learnt that at a “critical juncture” in the pandemic, thousands of clinical staff working on contact tracing for the government’s test and trace service will be axed.

The move comes as concern grows over the rise in coronavirus cases in most regions of England and with the cases of the Indian variant almost tripling in a week. Boris Johnson warned on Friday that the route out of lockdown is in jeopardy, having earlier told MPs in the Commons that new variants posed “the potential for even greater suffering than we endured in January”.

Yet under the changes this weekend, thousands of clinicians employed to assess infected patients and identify their close contacts will be replaced with cheaper non-clinical call centre staff sourced from outsourcing giants Sitel and Serco.

Full story in The Independent, 16 May 2021

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