13 September 2020
Operation Moonshot is the governemnt's much vaunted programme of mass testing. It seeks to ramp up testing to 10 million people per day - meaning the entire population of the UK could be tested every week.
According to reports, it could come with a £100 billion price tag. That's almost the entire budget of the NHS for a whole year, which stands at £130 billion.
Reports have also suggested that some of that money is set to be spent on private companies. Government documents suggest that 16 companies are being lined up to be involved in the programme - including G4S, Deloitte and Serco.
That's the same G4S that recently had three of its former staff charged with fraud over the electronics tagging scandal.
It's the same Deloitte that is responsible for managing some of England's testing centres, at a time when the testing system is in complete and utter freefall.
And it's the same Serco that's failing to deliver an effective contact tracing system.
These companies have failed. So why is the government planning on doling out even more to them?
Why wouldn’t the government give established infrastructure, like the NHS and our network of public laboratories the funding and support to do this work?
The government has already given out £6.5 billion to private companies to do work they have no expertise in, and it’s been a disaster.
It’s time for the government to face reality. It’s time to give the NHS the resources it needs, and stop handing out billions to private companies.
Share this if you think the government must abandon plans to hand massive contracts to companies like Deloitte, G4S and Serco, and ensure that any part of Operation Moonshot that can be delivered by the NHS is delivered by the NHS.