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Health campaigners and public praise NHS rollout of vaccination programme

HEALTH campaigners said today that the successful NHS rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination programme has shamed the failure of the privately run contact tracing system.

A new poll conducted by pollster Survation, commissioned by campaign groups Keep Our NHS Public and We Own It, found that 80 per cent of the public praised the NHS vaccination programme, while only 29 per cent had a good word for the profit-driven test and trace system.

England’s contact tracing system, which has been mostly managed by the outsourcing company Serco and call centre firm Sitel, saw hundreds of millions in public cash pumped into profiteers’ pockets.

We Own It campaigns officer Pascale Robinson said: “This poll is a damning indictment of so much of the government’s handling of the response to the pandemic. 

“Right from the start the government decided to hand huge chunks of it to the private sector with mostly catastrophic results.

“The NHS has succeeded while the private sector has failed.”

Keep Our NHS Public is staging a people’s Covid inquiry, chaired by human rights barrister Michael Mansfield QC. Its findings will be presented to the government.

Keep Our NHS Public co-chairman Dr John Puntis said: “Both the sourcing of PPE and the process of delivering contact tracing have spectacularly failed, with absolutely tragic results.

“Lives have been needlessly lost due to a desire to reward the friends of those in government, or by relying on the private sector instead of the NHS to deliver public health initiatives.

“This is why our people’s Covid inquiry is so important; to learn lessons from these numerous mistakes, hold the government to account and save lives in the future.”

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