The UK Government’s outsourced approach to Coronavirus has failed and as we head into winter with increasing infections and restrictions, the UK Government needs to change course. To respond more effectively to this deadly virus it should learn from the Labour led Welsh Government by building on the capacity and expertise in the public sector.

Millions of pounds have already been spent by the UK government with private companies to manage its Covid-19 response. The usual tendering processes have been bypassed and new deals signed. Whilst the most high profile example has been Serco’s (mis)management of ‘test and trace’ there is a complex and overlapping web of procurement contracts around PPE, logistics and data storage involving Deloitte, Sodexo, Amazon, G4S, Mitie and others.

The UK Government has turbo charged outsourcing, when we know outsourcing has been shown time and again to be bad for workers, taxpayers and the public.

It’s time for:

  • The UK Government to come clean over how these contracts were developed, negotiated and agreed
  • An end to the UK Government’s approach of outsourcing at the expense of existing public health teams and local authorities
  • Investment in the public sector to build capacity, knowledge and in-house expertise by employing and training staff directly.