An investigation funded by The Independent has uncovered widespread concern over the “Lighthouse Lab” system for processing coronavirus tests.
UPDATE: …and now wow! https://apple.news/AXZekJbGoRaOgzansq5kQ5w
Experts including Sir Paul Nurse, Nobel laureate and director of the Francis Crick Institute in London, have branded the decision to commission the ‘Lighthouse’ laboratories – funnelling millions to private companies – a tactical mistake that was made too late, without consultation and remains shrouded in mystery
It was decided that a centralised approach would be more efficient and give greater control, rather than mobilising NHS or academic labs, and funding them to expand operations. This may have been a mistake, freezing out existing public sector laboratories in order to create private businesses.
Sir Paul Nurse, told The Independent he believed it had been a mistake for the government not to mobilise local laboratories across the country.
“I reached out to Downing Street early on but it seems that the local route was not even considered,” he said. “That was a tactical error in my view, because it was self-evident from the beginning that a locally managed solution would have been effective.
It was needed until the big labs got going, which was going to take time given the lack of preparation.
What we did at The Crick could have been done and activated at university and medical school labs across the country, which were dormant because of lockdown.
“Our local Crick lab can turn around tests in 24 hours, even under 12 hours. In these big labs it’s been as long as five days – that is next to useless. There was a failure to think creatively about how to deal with testing and the decision to set up these labs has been shrouded in mystery, at least to me. Who made the decision? Why was it made? Who advised on it? What did it cost?”
What is clear is that it was expensive, accused of contracting irregularities and not as reliable as promised. Perhaps unsurprising since it was overseen by accountancy giant Deloitte, fined for Serco tagging scandal and improperly awarded contracts in South Africa.
See the full article here.