Test and trace blunder puts Covid-19 contacts at risk
The Independent|October 17, 2021
A cost-saving blunder by the government’s test and trace service has triggered a 32 per cent drop in positive Covid test results entered into the Covid-19 app, The Independent has learned.
SHAUN LINTERN

Sources say the mistake has undermined the app’s core function and means thousands of potential close contacts who were at risk of infection were not identified or pinged during the week to 6 October.

Almost 19,000 fewer positive tests were put into the app by patients since 29 September, after officials at NHS Direct condensed information for patients into a single text, with instructions to enter the positive test result near the bottom of a single long message.

The change was made to save on costs by cutting the number of SMS messages being sent to patients.

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