NHS Test and Trace Debate

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Lord Campbell-Savours

Main Page: Lord Campbell-Savours (Labour - Life peer)

NHS Test and Trace

Lord Campbell-Savours Excerpts
Monday 28th June 2021

(3 months, 3 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber

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Baroness Penn Portrait Baroness Penn (Con)
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My Lords, test and trace is working to improve performance across all those areas, in particular through the community testing programme. Local directors of public health are playing a leading role in targeting testing to those parts of their local communities where it will have the greatest impact. In addition, all 314 local authorities in England have local tracing partnerships working with test and trace to improve performance in those areas.

Lord Campbell-Savours Portrait Lord Campbell-Savours (Lab) [V]
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My Lords, to return to my noble friend Lady Thornton’s question, economy, efficiency and effectiveness are the National Audit Office’s and the Public Accounts Committee’s measures of confidence in public expenditure. On economy, do the Government regard the £22 billion budget of track and trace as good value for money? On efficiency, is a response rate of 14% on 700 million kits an efficient use of resource? And on effectiveness, do not European calls for the quarantining of UK tourists suggest a total lack of confidence in our tracing systems here in the United Kingdom?

Baroness Penn Portrait Baroness Penn (Con)
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My Lords, the noble Lord is correct that the Government allocated £22 billion to test and trace in the last financial year. As I said, more than 80% of that has been allocated to testing. He is absolutely right that we have sought opportunities to drive down costs where possible and free up resources. We have taken a number of steps to reduce costs, including through commercial negotiations with suppliers, which have released £2.2 billion of savings, and technological advancements. A further £6 billion of savings were achieved by lower demand, changing priorities and deferred activities during the national lockdown from December to March.