Dido Harding’s deputy in Test & Trace “lost” during months of chaos

Dido Harding’s Deputy in Test & Trace “lost” during months of chaos and was forced to seek help from a fellow psychiatrist

  • Sarah-Jane Marsh acted as Test Director at Test & Trace until six weeks ago
  • She was forced to seek help from fellow NHS psychiatrist after ‘losing’ him
  • Test & Trace cost £ 22 billion in taxpayers’ money but ran into many problems

Dido Harding’s second-in-command at Test & Trace “lost” during months of chaos and was even forced to seek help from a psychiatrist he shouted at.

Sarah-Jane Marsh acted as test director at Test & Trace until six weeks ago and said the chaos surrounding the program’s launch made her feel she “couldn’t make decisions.”

She was forced to seek help from an NHS psychiatrist after she had a car accident, but continued to drive without stopping.

Test & Trace has cost £ 22 billion of taxpayers’ money, but has been beset with problems since its inception in May.

Sarah-Jane Marsh (pictured) acted as director of testing at Test & Trace up to six weeks ago and said the chaos surrounding the scheme’s implementation made her feel she “couldn’t make decisions”.

The test system collapsed in September and people had to travel hundreds of kilometers for testing.

Sage, the government’s scientific advisory group on emergencies, later said the system had only a “ marginal impact ” on fighting the coronavirus.

Ms. Marsh talked about the behind-the-scenes drama of the Next Generation GP health podcast.

According to the Telegraph, he said: ‘I found a place where I lost it, which has never happened to me before.

‘I have several examples in my mind of where I literally thought I couldn’t go on. I have nothing left.

Test & Trace has cost £ 22 billion in taxpayers' money, but has been beset with problems since its inception in May.  Pictured: Dido Harding

Test & Trace has cost £ 22 billion of taxpayers’ money, but has been beset with problems since its inception in May. Pictured: Dido Harding

The number of Covid-19 cases transferred to the contact tracking system and the number of those reached is shown above for the week ending 4 November

The number of Covid-19 cases transferred to the contact tracking system and the number of those reached is shown above for the week ending 4 November

He added that he just wanted to “stop it” but he had to continue. Ms. Marsh’s lab director was a psychiatrist.

He said, “So we had little things offline and sometimes we would just look at each other and we would cry.”

Ms. Marsh said she left Test & Trace to be able to spend more time with her two small children.

She has now returned to her job as the managing director of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

BUNGLING TEST AND TRACK HITS FROM HUGE IT PROBLEMS

NHS Test and Trace was hit by “ massive cyber problems ” in October that led to delays in crushing coronavirus outbreaks in nursing homes, according to leaked emails.

NHS personnel revealed that an IT failure occurred in mid-October at a pivotal point in the second wave of the pandemic, when infections were ramping up across England.

It caused problems in the software used by contact locators that phone people who were in the vicinity of a Covid-19 case.

Sources told The Guardian that it has led to delays of up to 48 hours in reaching potentially infected people linked to nursing homes and hospitals, which house the most vulnerable to Covid-19, in some Covid-19 hotspots in England.

Data shows that performance dropped to all-time lows that week, with only 43.6% of close contacts achieved. Scientists said 80% must be reached within 24 hours to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

How does the NHS Test and Trace system work?

For those with symptoms:

Step 1: Isolate for at least 10 days. Your family must also isolate themselves for at least 14 days from developing symptoms.

Step 2: Order a free NHS test online or call 119 to speak to someone.

Step 3: If you are positive, you must isolate for at least 10 days and your family for at least 14 days, those who do not face fines starting from £ 1,000. Those who are negative can leave.

Step 4: If you test positive, you should enter the details of those you have been in direct contact with recently on the NHS Test and Trace website. If you don’t respond within 24 hours, the NHS can contact local authorities for a telephone or in-person follow-up.

Contacts

NHS contact detectors will then attempt to track down those you have been in contact with. They will warn those people to isolate themselves if necessary. Those people must isolate themselves for at least 14 days from contact with the person or risk a fine of as low as £ 1,000. People in that person’s family should not isolate themselves if they have no symptoms.

If you have symptoms, you are asked to contact the NHS Test and Trace System for a test. If your test is positive, you must continue to stay home for at least 10 days and we will contact you to inquire about your contacts as they need to self-isolate. If your test is negative, you still need to complete the 14-day self-isolation period.

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