Covid test waiting time soars as IT failure hits private ‘lighthouse’ testing lab

Using an ad-blocker? PLEASE SWITCH IT OFF My ads don’t cost you anything but they do provide me the money I need to live. Using an ad-blocker on this site is as bad as stealing. Once again private profiteers have failed the people of the UK. An “IT systems failure” at a ‘Lighthouse’ mega-laboratory in Cheshire “resulted in a delay to the processing of results,” the government said. “In addition, the increase of tests across all routes has resulted in backlogs in some laboratories.” The labs were built in April, in…

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Covid-19: Tories admit their own incompetence as ‘test and trace’ app is unlawful

Isn’t this criminal stupidity? The Tories have been telling us their ‘test and trace’ app for finding people who’ve had Covid-19, in order to isolate those they’ve contacted, is vital to prevent the spread of the disease – and therefore stop unnecessary deaths. But now we learn that it breaches privacy laws, with Sky News reporting that the programme’s staff have been sharing private information about patients on the social media. What a Hobson’s Choice we’ve had – refuse to use the app and Tory twits like Matt Hancock accuse us…

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Tories STILL haven’t bothered to research the harsh impact of Universal Credit delays

This is no surprise to anyone who has been following the contribution of Universal Credit to the spread of poverty in the UK. The Conservative government has received many demands for research into the adverse impact of its new failure of a policy – you can’t call it a benefit – but has steadfastly refused to do anything about it. There is a simple reason for this: Tories don’t care if someone else is suffering. The entire aim of Universal Credit is to pay as little as possible to people in…

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NHS medical records handed to O2 to predict mental breakdowns – isn’t this against the law?

This looks like a huge data protection breach. The Tory government, which runs the NHS in England, should have sought permission from patients before handing over their records to a commercial organisation – anonymised or not. The fact that this information only became public knowledge via a Freedom of Information request makes it even worse because the Tories have been hiding what they have done. Are you a patient of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust? If so, I strongly suggest that you get together with other patients,…

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Campaigner who embarrassed DWP was forced into 15-month benefit battle – with DWP

The worst aspect of this is that there probably isn’t a connection. Gail Ward caused serious embarrassment to the Department for Work and Pensions in 2018 when in response to a Freedom of Information request, the government department had to admit 111,000 people had died while claiming Employment and Support Allowance. Then Ms Ward, 63, was told by the same organisation that she didn’t qualify for Personal Independence Payments. For clarity, she has Prinzmetal’s angina, a rare form of angina where attacks can occur even when resting. The rare heart condition means…

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‘Degrading and humiliating’ – why do police treat disabled people so badly?

The Metropolitan Police has been accused of “degrading and humiliating” treatment of people with disabilities who took part in the Extinction Rebellion protests in London. In isolation, this would be bad enough – but it is just the latest in a series of incidents targeting disabled protesters, by forces across the UK. Now the Met’s independent advisory group says the bullying that took place may have caused “irreparable damage” to relations with disabled people. Stop and think about that. This isn’t just a public relations problem – it’s a disaster…

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New Brexit drama: government ordered to hand over all information on prorogation

It seems the first controversy to happen during the prorogation of Parliament is about the very same shutdown. MPs have passed a backbench motion ordering Boris Johnson to hand over all documents relating to Downing Street’s preparations for a “no deal” Brexit and to the prorogation, along with all private messages by his most senior aides relating to these matters. The reason, according to The Guardian, is so rebel MPs can “prove he misled Parliament”. The Graun continues: MPs voted to force him to publish Operation Yellowhammer documents setting out government plans…

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Concerns grow over police force that shares info on protesters with DWP | Disability News Service

DNS has uncovered more information about information-sharing between Greater Manchester Police and the Department for Work and Pensions, intended to harm protesters with disabilities. It seems GMP does not provide any guidance to officers on when it is lawful for them to hand information to the DWP on the presence of protesters with disabilities. As a result, they fear that GMP – and probably other police forces – may have indiscriminately passed information to DWP about disabled activists, after assuming they must be committing benefit fraud if they can take…

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Latest phase of Tory ‘hostile environment’ would force charities to help deport people sleeping rough

The Conservative government has been caught trying to persecute foreigners and some of the UK’s most vulnerable people – yet again. The scandal centres once again on the Home Office, which has been trying to pressgang homelessness charities into becoming border guards. The plan – euphemistically titled the Rough Sleeper Support Service (RSSS) – is to get charity outreach workers to pass on the personal details of homeless people to the Home Office where, if they were found to be from foreign countries, enforcement officers would deport them. The scheme…

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What’s the REAL reason the DWP destroyed a report on Job Centre safety failings?

It isn’t often I disagree with John Pring of the Disability News Service, but I think he’s being far too charitable to the Department for Work and Pensions. A report on the DNS website has suggested that the DWP destroyed a report on failures by Job Centre staff to have proper regard for the safety of benefit claimants because the government doesn’t want the facts to get out. I have a simpler suggestion: The Conservatives simply don’t want benefit claimants to benefit from important information that could save them from…

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