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Outsource Test and Trace to Amazon?

(18 Posts)
MawB2 Fri 18-Sep-20 09:12:53

THE country’s failing coronavirus test and trace system is to be outsourced to a giant delivery firm such as Amazon, secret plans have revealed.
A tender for the management of the entire “end-to-end” supply chain will be issued next month, calling for a logistics firm to take over its running.
A government source said “experts in delivery services” were needed to help the beleaguered service cope with increased demand for tests..
They said: “At the moment the management of NHS Test and Trace has been in-house but as we go into winter we need experts in this area to take it forward.” Sources said logistics giants “such as DHL and Amazon were likely to be in the running for the lucrative contract, as part of efforts to deliver 500,000 tests a day.” (Note the word lucrative)
Yesterday, Baroness Harding, (or Typhoid Dido as some are calling her) prompted incredulity to put it mildly, after she told MPs that no one was expecting to see the “really sizeable increase in demand” for tests in recent weeks despite schools returning and more people back at work.
As we all think - they damn well should have but hey.
Undeniably, Amazon have proved a godsend to many over the last few months, but will have made shedloads of money doing it and we all know their reputation about paying tax in the U.K.
But is this yet another excuse to put a lucrative contract to one of their cronies?
Obvious to me - why not use the Army?
If anybody is an expert in Logistics it has to be them - and as far as I know it would not result in Tory cronies trousering the dosh.

Riverwalk Fri 18-Sep-20 09:24:03

This is no surprise - Amazon have had their fingers in this pie for a while.

In July (just checked my old emails) I had to have a Covid test for work purposes and applied for the home test kit on the government website.

Was very surprised to receive an acknowledgment from Amazon/NHS confirming details that the pack had been despatched, from Cambridge. The email was almost identical to the confirmation you get when ordering anything from Amazon, complete with a tracking number.

MaizieD Fri 18-Sep-20 09:24:23

Obvious to me - why not use the Army?

Or why not use the local authority organisations already set up and experienced in dealing with outbreaks of illness in local populations; with experience of contact tracing etc. Some LAs are already doing this for covid in default of any effective action from the national network.

I can only assume that this so called 'government' is desperate to avoid using any public services which don't offer any financial reward to their cronies.

MawB2 Fri 18-Sep-20 09:48:27

Absolutely MaizieD

trisher Fri 18-Sep-20 10:23:02

It's unbelievable. I watched Jonathan Ashworth asking about test and Trace yesterday or as he termed it "Trace a test". He asked if the failing private companies would have their contracts cancelled- guess what-no reply!
I did hear that tracing is failing partly because people get a call on their mobile from an unknown number so they don't answer.

cornergran Fri 18-Sep-20 10:30:17

Same here maizied. In July after being requested to do a test by the Covid Symptom Study we found no drive in appointments so requested a home testing kit. Delivered promptly by Amazon the next morning. It occurs to me that if we had been ill we wouldn’t have noticed/cared where it came from as long as it did. Not justifying it, just saying.

Missfoodlove Fri 18-Sep-20 10:33:02

Sadly the reality is that Amazon deliver.
Their logistics are second to none and they have an eager workforce.

Before anyone responds telling me that they are treated poorly paid the minimum wage etc.
Look at their benefits, these include a scheme whereby Amazon pay 95% of tuition fees for staff to further their education.
They can also get private health and income protection.

Jaxjacky Fri 18-Sep-20 11:09:14

Missfoodlove I agree, I believe Serco and Mitie are involved in the current testing, they’ve often had government contracts, for years. If someone is going to be paid, without getting into any political discussion, let’s have a company with a track history of delivering what they’re signed up for.

GrannyGravy13 Fri 18-Sep-20 11:28:01

Amazon have been a life saver for us since the first lockdown, reliable quick service (wasn't a fan before lockdown).

I think that if they are given the logistical side of the test and trace project they will deliver an efficient service.

trisher Fri 18-Sep-20 12:05:22
Worth listening to

ayse Fri 18-Sep-20 12:10:20

Maybe if Amazon paid their taxes!

More privatisation by the back door.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 18-Sep-20 12:10:45

How about giving Amazon the contract on the proviso that they pay the right amount of tax at the right time?
They could work with HMRC over their tax avoidance.

Most companies make that effort so I wouldn’t have thought it was a lot to ask.

GrannyGravy13 Fri 18-Sep-20 12:20:33

Thoroughly agree that Amazon should pay the appropriate tax on their profits.

Chewbacca Fri 18-Sep-20 12:24:03

If any of the government departments involved in the pandemic had worked as efficiently as Amazon, we wouldn't be in this mess. As it is, Amazon is efficient, does exactly what it says it will do, when it says it will and is completely reliable. If only they paid there taxes, as Whitewave says.....

Callistemon Fri 18-Sep-20 12:28:35

why not use the Army?

I'm surprised that they haven't.
The Army was called in to build and equip the Nightingale Hospitals and they were completed in record time and with efficiency. I think they have already delivered COVID testing kits to NHS workers.

The Army’s priority remains to protect the UK public in these unprecedented times. We are working hard to ensure we continue to be ready, resilient and responsive to all the challenges the coronavirus may bring. As the Army family, we are well disposed to support the nation in its time of need.

Perhaps it hasn't occurred to Boris and Dido that they have such an excellent resource available.
Don't put Dom in charge though. He knows how the Army should be run. Not.

Callistemon Fri 18-Sep-20 12:30:09

Amazon works like the Army - efficiently.

But why not use our own resources?

Charleygirl5 Fri 18-Sep-20 12:32:30

When I first read that Amazon may be taking over, I thought they would be delivering the testing kits also. Many of us I am sure would be happy to pay if a negative test meant going back to work or whatever.

I think they could do it but I agree, why should Amazon probably pay less tax than me?

Furret Sat 19-Sep-20 08:04:33

Yes, I take the point about taxes, but Amazon is amazingly efficient.

I’d rather see the Army brought in to monitor some of the disobliging public. A friend sent me a video clip from the NE Metro, showing pensioners wearing masks, but groups of school age teenagers and whole families mask-less. Just one example of those who flout then law because they can and no one is policing it.