Gloucestershire MPs finally wake up to seriousness of Covid testing shambles: our letter to the press

We have written today to the local press welcoming the decision by the county’s MPs to ask the government for speedy results from the Immensa testing investigation.

Better late than never – but what’s also needed is a broader investigation into poor value-for-money Covid contracts and profiteering from the NHS.

Dear Editor

It is good to see that the Gloucestershire MPs have finally woken up to the seriousness of the false-negative Covid testing scandal (see Gloucestershire Live press report here). They have written to the UK Health Security Agency urging swift results from the investigation being carried out into the Immensa testing laboratory. The high rates of Covid in the south-west are partly due to people who had Covid being told by Immensa that they did not, which left them free to roam around infecting others.

While welcome, this intervention by our parliamentary representatives is somewhat tardy. Stroud District Green Party wrote to Siobhan Baillie on November 2 asking her to take urgent action.

It is probably too much to hope that the investigation will examine the bigger issue around the many other Covid-related contracts that have resulted in large profits for some businesses and poor value for money for the rest of us.

The public is sick of paying for incompetence of the kind that we have seen far too often, and the Green Party wants the profiteering private sector to keep out of our NHS.

Companies that are given taxpayers’ money to do a job must be properly regulated and held to account if their services or products prove to be inadequate.

Lynn Haanen and Martin Whiteside, co-ordinators, Stroud District Green Party