DAUK in the mirror: Serco to make £165m profit after being paid to operate ‘shambolic’ test and trace

Outsourcing firm Serco has announced its profits are set to soar after being paid to operate NHS Test and Trace. The company announced that extra cash could be funnelled to shareholders in the week the performance of the part-privatised contact tracing system hit a new low. Campaigners have labelled the profit alert “obscene” while a group of independent scientists have called for the contact tracing system to be “dismantled”.

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DAUK in doctors.net – Health Tax cancelled for overseas doctors

Doctors from overseas are to have their immigration health surcharges refunded, it has been announced.The new scheme applies to staff who have worked in the NHS since the end of March, rewarding those who worked through the pandemic.Many doctors have had their charges paid by their employers.

The news was welcomed by the Doctors’ Association UK. Chair Dr Rinesh Parmar said: “The government has stopped short of granting a route towards indefinite leave to remain and citizenship to those who have served and continue to serve our health and social care system in its time of greatest need.“I urge the Home Secretary to think again, to right the wrongs and missteps of previous years and recognise the dedication and contribution of migrant workers in health and social care.”

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DAUK reacts to the Department of Heath’s PPE strategy – Press Release

The Doctors’ Association UK welcomes the publication of the Department of Health’s PPE strategy. We wholeheartedly support planning for PPE provision for a winter in which the NHS is likely to experience a second wave of COVID-19. However, DAUK does have some reservations regarding the information published.

Women and those of a BAME background have, in particular, experienced issues with appropriately fitted PPE. This represents the majority of NHS workers and these issues were raised in April 2020. However, 6 months later, this strategy promises a data gathering exercise rather than a concrete solution. A promised project to improve mask designs will not deliver in time to help women and those from a BAME background given that coronavirus cases are already increasing.

DAUK is also concerned that there is a lack of acknowledgment regarding the misteps taken in the early phase of the pandemic response. A cardinal rule in medicine is to analyse and learn from one’s mistake and therefore do not repeat the same again. Without accepting the mistakes made regarding the wastage of taxpayers money in purchasing of unusable PPE, coupled with a lack of transparency regarding the tendering of such contracts, the worry is that the same errors will occur, with frontline NHS staff suffering.

DAUK does welcome the concept of re-usable PPE, particularly concerning the environmental impact of such an idea. However, we would seek assurances that a robust process of decontamination and involvement of trained Public Health England staff to ensure its safety.

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