The Test & Trace budget for 2021/22 is £15bn.

There's no specific remit letter and whilst a new strategy is awaited (see @CommonsPAC report), the most recent T&T business plan from Dec 2020 covers four key priority areas.…
Unpacking these.

For 'Team of Teams' - it's a lots of local gov led programmes: community testing, local contact tracing, support for self-isolation, and local outbreak management.
For 'increasing the speed and reach', it's lots more testing, faster contact tracing and more local contact tracing (again), and do more to understand and offer support for self isolation (again).
For 'improving the use of our data', it's faster data sharing with local gov, making more info public, faster outbreak identification, and the app.
And finally for 'offering an excellent service', it's better comms.
In summary - as of Dec 2020, for £15bn the intention is lots more tests, faster tracing, more support for isolation, better comms, and lots more working with local government.
Onto the public health grant. It's £3.3bn split between 152 local authorities to meet all the prescribed functions.
And then as many of the non-prescribed functions as possible based on local need and resource (note - this includes pretty core things like childhood obesity, stop smoking services, and drug and alcohol services)
And then these two new categories for 2021.

(and as an aside the March Budget included £400m - so far for 21/22 - from the Contain Outbreak Management Fund to also support the local COVID public health response)
So despite the devastating impact of COVID on health & inequalities, the public health grant has been cut by 24% in real term per capita since 2015/16.

Who's to know what's reasonable T&T expenditure in a pandemic, but local gov does look a little short changed.

Hope that helps

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More from @ADMBriggs

18 Mar
This week's PHE surveillance report, covers 8th-14th March. 🧵

- cases falling but LFDs making it a harder to follow trends
- Still important inequalities by local authority, ethnicity, & deprivation.
- And good news on vaccines and seroprevalence…
case rates continue to drop, but increasingly difficult to interpret pillar 2 data (community testing) here as it includes both lateral flow devices (LFDs) for those without symptoms, and PCR tests for those with symptoms. Image
This is laid out here - LFD test use over 5m in the most recent week reported, with positivity 0.15% compared with 2.4% among PCR tests. Image
Read 22 tweets
11 Mar
This week's T&T report. Covers 25th Feb - 3rd March.

More LFDs - esp in secondary schools,
fewer cases,
more close contacts per case,
and fewer of them from the same household as the case.

Detail in 🧵…
A pretty astonishing 3.13 million people tested in the week.

This is the most since T&T launched. Until next week's data.
This is because of the large scale roll-out of LFDs.

There were 2.76m used in week ending 3rd March, compared with 2.23 the week before, with 2/3 of the increase in use coming from secondary schools.

PCR use dropped slightly over the same period.
Read 18 tweets
11 Mar
This week's PHE COVID surveillance report, covering 1-7th March (just before schools fully reopened)

Case rates, hospitalisations, deaths continue to fall.
But some really big variation by local authority.

And vaccination uptake is going great guns. 🧵…
Case numbers and percentage testing positive (positivity) still falling across community testing (pillar 2) and health care worker/those in clinical need tests (pillar 1).
The steep drop in P2 positivity is due to the massive jump in LFD use (lateral flow devices for rapid testing among people without symptoms)

2.8m done between 1st-7th March, with a positivity of 0.17% compared with 1.7m done the week before. LFD use will rise further next wk.
Read 18 tweets
10 Mar
Today, the headlines enjoyed the @CommonsPAC report on COVID19: Test, Track and Trace (part 1).

Some reflections that don't focus on the ££ detail. 🧵1/11…
The T&T budget is massive, and it's right that it has scrutiny. The vast majority (perhaps around 80%) has gone on testing and the achievements here are pretty significant.

Regularly >5% of population are tested for a disease that we didn't know existed around a yr ago. 2/
But by the same token relatively little has been spend on the contact tracing and isolation support.

We can't test our way out of the pandemic - it has to go hand in hand with tracing contacts and ensuring people have the support they need to isolate. 3/
Read 11 tweets
4 Mar
Latest T&T data out, covers 18-24th Feb.

Bit of a dive into testing and LFD use this week.

Tl,dr: Tests up (all LFDs), cases down, and performance relatively unchanged.

Summary in pic, detail in 🧵…
There were 2.8m people tested, up 9% on the week before but still down from 3m two weeks' before.

This was all pillar 2 (community testing), up 14%. People tested using pillar 1 (HCWs and those in clinical need) fell 12%.
And more specifically, this was all lateral flow devices (LFDs) - rapid tests for people aiming to find cases among those without symptoms.

The number of LFDs used increased by 470k to 2.2m, whereas the number of pillar 2 PCR tests dropped slightly.
Read 19 tweets
4 Mar
PHE COVID surveillance report out covering 22nd-28th Feb, plus also today's REACT data. 🧵

tl,dr. Things are getting better but inequalities continue to persist.…
Case rates have continued to drop in all ages.

And check out how rates in 80+y/o were tracking with those aged 20-60yrs
but over the last few weeks the rate of decline has accelerated to track more closely with those aged 60-80yrs.
After positivity went a bit wild last week (half term and therefore far fewer LFDs being done) reassuring it's back to similar trends to the week before.

Having said this, pillar 2 positivity is really hard to interpret now as includes LFDs and PCR.
Read 21 tweets

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