The disjointed nature of the NHS Test and Trace programme is just another example of muddled thinking and muddy messaging at the top.
Consider the complaint about Test and Trace on the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee website – “the Government does not provide any information on whether there are different rules for healthcare workers”. Heroic yesterday, forgotten today.
The PSNC Director of NHS Services Alastair Buxton has also felt constrained to comment – “….greater clarity needs to be provided by the Government on how the requirements for self-isolation apply to healthcare workers”.
And this is no minor whinge. The effects could be devastating because when a team member tests positive, the result of the latest Government policy could be that all his or her colleagues have to self-isolate for fourteen days, with the result that the pharmacy has to close immediately. The implications for the local community are obvious.
This is just one example of the inability of those in power to present a coherent picture of what is being done, and what needs to be done. Such confusion and suspicion would be bad enough at any time. When we are all facing possibly the gravest danger this country has ever faced, it feels criminally unsafe to leave such gaping holes in official policy.
However much sympathy we feel for the health secretary in his current role, he may still be remembered as Matt Half-cock.