Serco staff drafted in to clinical tracing roles, but are they qualified?

Leaked emails and texts seen by The Lowdown and other news sites have revealed moves to bolster the clinical tier of the government’s contact-tracing programme with untrained staff from outsourcing giant Serco and call centre outfit Sitel.

Shortly before the prime minister belatedly admitted last week to serious failings in the contact-tracing programme, and as cases of covid-19 continued to surge across the north of England, clinical caseworkers already working in ‘tier 2’ – recruited by the Department of Health & Social Care-owned agency NHS Professionals (NHSP) – were told of the moves in an email and a series of mobile phone texts.

The email, from NHSP and dated 20 October, spoke of changes being “introduced… to provide the additional capacity to meet this surge”, and told existing staff that a number of “experienced agents from Serco and Sitel” would soon be assisting them, albeit focusing primarily on “gathering information”.

Full story in The Lowdown, 26 October 2020

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