Stop the privatised test and trace chaos 

Serco clock web bannerv2 (1)

Privatised test and trace has failed our communities.
The government has suggested that councils are likely to get bigger roles in contact tracing, but we know that local public health teams should be doing ALL contact tracing, not failing private companies.
This would be a system the British public could have faith in.
Matt Hancock isn’t budging. We need you to email these key figures in government with responsibilities to scrutinise health policy (Hunt), test and trace (Clark), and outsourcing (Gove) TODAY!
Click here for a straight-forward pro forma letter – it will take you 2 minutes only…but could protect the NHS for a lifetime


Sign the petition: Scrap the contracts for Serco & Sitel

Privatised track and trace has been a 2020 disaster that is costing lives.
It’s time to put local public health teams in charge of the whole system. They have the tools and the local knowledge they need to do this vital work before any second wave this winter. Now they need the money. Hancock needs to scrap Serco and Sitels failed contracts now instead of renewing them. The government must give the £528 million allocated for these contract extension to local authorities and Public Health England teams instead. 
Sign the “Save Lives, Scrap Serco” petition here:


Sign the petition: Private Test and Trace is failing – hand it back to the NHS

change .org petition

‘NHS test and trace’ is not run by the NHS. The testing side is run by private companies such as Deloitte, and it’s clear that it is failing. A partnership between local authorities and public health, primary care and NHS labs is needed to ensure a successful testing system. Please sign this petition calling for testing to be rooted within NHS structures and given the necessary investment.


Hiding behind a logo…..


25th September 2020: Letter in todays Metro – We need to fix test and trace. Local public health teams and our NHS must be put back in charge of testing and contact tracing…and a clear message from KONP North East and @keepnhspublic and @We_OwnIt: You’re hiding behind a logo @MattHancock



National KONP Coronavirus Hub –  information and statement

Coronavirus statement

National “Keep Our NHS Public”have built a webpage to help our members and supporters stay up to date with our response to the pandemic. This will be updated regularly and will be used to host coverage of the crisis by Keep Our NHS Public and its members.
Please click:
The KONP statement on the coronavirus pandemic is here:

Outsourced and undermined – the Covid 19 windfall for private providers (British Medical Association, 8th September 2020)

The private sector has been the winner in the Government’s response to COVID-19 in England – but why, given the growing and predictable  litany of mistakes it has made? Peter Blackburn reports here
The Lowdown  (21st November 2020): More trouble with NHS contracts and outsourcing


George Monbiot – The Guardian (21st October 2020)


The government’s secretive Covid contracts are heaping misery on Britain


Richard Horton, Editor, The Lancet (12th September 2020)

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“This Government is directly responsible for tens of thousands of citizens deaths” and we have witnessed “the worst episode of government and ministerial misconduct”.
Hear from Richard Horton, Editor of The Lancet, explaining what went wrong with the Governments response to the pandemic – he does not hold back. This talk was part of the national KONP AGM 12th September 2020:
Covid-19: politicisation, “corruption,” and suppression of science    BMJ 13th Nov 2020
BMJ lashes out at UK ‘state corruption’ and ‘suppression of science’  The London Economic 16th Nov 2020

Privatised and Unprepared – the NHS Supply Chain (2020)

The report from University of Greenwich and We Own It is here
plus…. opportunistic, unreported deals…..



Test and Trace

Byline Times (5th January 2021)    Government Reveals Total Number of Private Sector Consultants working for ‘Test and Trace’
BMJ (16 Nov 2020) Mass testing for covid-19 in the UK 
BMJ 6th Nov 2020  Covid-19: Rapid test missed over 50% of positive cases in Manchester pilot   
The Guardian (25th November 2020)    Test and trace fails to contact 110,000 in English Covid hot spots
BBC News (20th November 2020)    Coronavirus: Inside test-and-trace – how the ‘world beater’ went wrong
Mirror (19th November 2020)  Test and Trace misses 123,000 contacts in a week as rate stuck at historic low
Channel 4 (16th November 2020)   Dispatches uncovers serious failings at one of UK’s largest COVID-Testing Labs
Caroline Molloy, Open Democracy (12 November 2020)  Deloitte’s COVID ‘bonanza’: this is how much the British public has paid so far
Louisa Harding-Edgar, Margaret McCartney, Allyson M Pollock (First Published October 27, 2020): “Test and trace strategy has overlooked importance of clinical input, clinical oversight and integration”
George Monbiot, The Guardian (28th October 2020): How teenagers ended up operating crucial parts of England’s test and trace system
George Monbiot: “People ask me, “is this a cockup or a conspiracy?”. The correct answer is both. The government is using the pandemic to shift the boundaries between public and private provision, restructure public health and pass lucrative contracts to poorly qualified private companies. The inevitable result is a galactic cockup. This is what you get from a government that values money above human life”.
Watch this video from Dr Hosnieh Djafari-Marbini and “We Own It” (21st October 2020)
The letter from North East Councillors to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for health is here (scroll to 26th August) and the Chronicle report is here
See photos and a KONPNE video taken in Newcastle on the NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION ON TRACK AND TRACE CONTRACTS here (scroll to 18th August)
Huffington Post (18th September 2020) – and here’s who is actually running “NHS” test and Trace:
Huffington Post (21st September 2020) 74% favour a publicly run Test and Trace system:

Covid-19 Testing Laboratories and privatisation

Many thanks to a member of KONPNE for this overview on developments regarding Testing Labs – crystal clear that every aspect of the Governments response to Covid-19 is typified by privatisation. Read the article on our blog here


Covid testing explained: bold promises and moonshots

The Lowdown (September 14th 2020):
The Guardian (26th November 2020):   Hancock’s former neighbour won Covid test kit work after WhatsApp message


PPE Suppliers

Supply chain 

British Medical Journal (18th November 2020):    Covid-19: UK government faces legal action after awarding £250m in PPE contracts to jewellery company
The Lowdown (8th December 2020):  Covid contract report reveals waste, cronyism and absent process
The Guardian (18th November 2020):
BBC (19th November 2020) Covid spending: Watchdog finds MPs’ contacts were given priority 
Channel 4 (17 November 2020)   Questions arise over dramatic increase in PPE costs paid by government during pandemic
BBC (17th November 2020)    Go-between paid £21m in taxpayer funds for NHS PPE


My Little Crony – A visualization of the connections between Tory politicians and companies being awarded government contracts during the pandemic based on a wide range of investigative reporting

My Little Crony



The London Economic (22nd December 2020): Revealed: The links between Tory MPs and the people profiting from NHS privatisation
The Guardian (21st November 2020):  England’s three Covid ‘tsars’: key questions that must be answered
The Guardian (21st November 2020) Boris Johnson ‘acted illegally’ over jobs for top anti-Covid staff
RT UK (20th November 2020) Video: Half of Covid contracts given out without competition
OpenDemocracy (13th November 2020) Revealed: Former Tory chairman was secretly appointed as COVID advisor
The London Economic 9th Nov 2020  Government fails to publish details £4 billion shady Covid contracts  


Structural racism led to worse Covid impact on BAME groups – report

The Guardian (October 27th 2020): Minority ethnic people in UK were ‘overexposed, under protected, stigmatised and overlooked’, review finds


The use of private hospitals

The Lowdown (6th January 2021)   Private hospital group backs out of Covid deal to treat NHS patients
Health Service Journal (1st December 2020)   Leaks reveal two-thirds of private hospital capacity went unused by NHS
Health Service Journal (16th October 2020): Revealed: The private hospitals handed the largest covid-19 contracts


The impact of privatising vital services

The Guardian (19th October 2020): Covid-19 has exposed the catastrophic impact of privatising vital services


Covid, Privatisation and Underfunding:

PA webinar October 2020-page0001a
Great range of speakers in this webinar, including Jude Letham (Co-ordinator, KONPNE), Martin Gannon (Leader, Gateshead Council), Keir Howe (GMB Northern Region NHS lead), Stacey Richardson (NHS Staff Nurse) and Dr George Rae (North Tyneside GP and BMA Chair). Chaired by Tony Dowling, North East Peoples Assembly.
All speakers confirmed the need to keep our NHS public and to stop the outsourcing – it is clear that Covid-19 has thrown a light on the ongoing underfunding and privatisation by stealth of our NHS.
Recorded 13th October 2020: click here to watch

The Independent Sage

‘We are following the ​science’ is the message the British public have been hearing from government since COVID-19 mitigating measures began. It says it is following the advice of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). But the activities of the committee have been kept secret and excluded from scrutiny by the public or wider scientific community.
In response, on Monday May 4, the Independent SAGE convened as a group of preeminent experts from the UK and around the world. The aim of the Independent SAGE was and is to provide robust, independent advice to HM Government with the purpose of helping the UK navigate COVID-19 whilst minimising fatalities.

Covid 19 and the way forward

For a very interesting 30 minute discussion between Professor Allyson Pollock (Health campaigner and Newcastle University) and Dr John Lister (Co-chair KONP and Coventry University), please click here (….skip over the initial countdown on the recording)
Whilst this was recorded to highlight the issues covered in John Pilger’s film The Dirty War on the NHS, much of the discussion centres around Covid 19 and the way forward. Crucial viewing, highly recommended.

Allyson Pollock YouTube      John Lister - YouTube


2020 Vision for a post-Covid NHS, published by “Health Campaigns Together” and “Keep Our NHS Public” (July 2020)

Click HCT KONP 2020 Rescue Plan to access the document, plus additional background information is here