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The Swine Flu Call Centres Where Staff Have Nothing To Do But Play Cards And Trivial Pursuit

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12...al-Pursuit.html

Two swine flu call centres are to close just weeks after opening because staff have been spending most of their time playing cards and board games.

Hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money has been 'squandered' after around 1,200 workers were employed to deal with the expected deluge of anxious calls.

But staff said far fewer calls were made than predicted and supervisors allowed them to play cards and games such as Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly to help pass the long hours between calls.

One said that for most of the four weeks he was working at the NHS centre in Farnborough, Hampshire, each staff member took on average just two five-minute calls per eight-hour shift.

He said: 'The whole thing has been a fiasco. It seems to have been a complete knee-jerk reaction, set up with no real thought.

'I can understand the Government had to prepare for the worst, but this was just ludicrous.

'They could have put these two centres into one about a quarter of the size, and still had scores of spare lines in case things got really bad. They've squandered a vast amount of public money needlessly.'

The National Pandemic Flu Service - which comprises phone lines and a website - was launched last month.

The new staff were given four hours of training in how to read a prepared script of questions to discover whether a caller - or a member of their family - was showing swine flu symptoms.

But an email circulated last Sunday by Tim Abrahams, who ran the Farnborough call centre, suggested that staff actually spent most of their time playing games.

It read: 'Hello All, We appreciate that it's very quiet and that you like to play cards while waiting for calls. Please can you make sure that you only play cards with the person next to you and not in large groups.

'All card games must be played quietly as people around you might be on the phone.

'You can also play patience at your desk on your own.'

The call centre in Farnborough and another in Watford, which are both due to close tomorrow, are run by NHS Professionals, a not-for-profit company which supplies temporary-workers to the health service.

There are another 17 smaller swine flu call centres run by other providers, although staff at some of these have also said that things are so quiet that supervisors have encouraged them to bring in games.

Earlier this month the Daily Mail revealed that some phone lines were being manned by 16-year-olds with as little as three hours training.

The Department of Health said it was up to individual call centres how they managed staff.

At least we can console ourselves that all of this helped to boost the last quarters GDP figures.

We truly are led by incompetent clueless idiots, so they created a panic and then open up huge call centres after the mass hysteria dies down.

Tax money well spent.

Gordon is one giant mofo idiot.

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Another nulabour triumph.

Wait til schools reopen and people mix in large numebers again.. that'll get it going again.

Then they'll have to rehire them?

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12...al-Pursuit.html

At least we can console ourselves that all of this helped to boost the last quarters GDP figures.

We truly are led by incompetent clueless idiots, so they created a panic and then open up huge call centres after the mass hysteria dies down.

Tax money well spent.

Gordon is one giant mofo idiot.

well said

this govt more than most is all about playing fast and loose with our cash, they just dont give a monkeys how much they spend, throwing money at everything with no thought is their hallmark. now the tory cuts after the GE will be worse than ever because of the squandering by this bunch of grade Ds (yes i'm feeling generous)

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Guest happy?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12...al-Pursuit.html

At least we can console ourselves that all of this helped to boost the last quarters GDP figures.

We truly are led by incompetent clueless idiots, so they created a panic and then open up huge call centres after the mass hysteria dies down.

Tax money well spent.

Gordon is one giant mofo idiot.

You really do need to understand that the Daily Mail is not a newspaper and consequently citing it as of evidence of your views cuts no ice with most reasonably well-read people.

Despite the painfully obvious spin to this article the truth is that they're laying-off staff because there has not been the anticipated demand. No-one knew at the start of this disease how it would pan-out - had the government done nothing then it would have been pilloried in the Daily Hate for failing in its duty to protect the public.

Having put in place call-centres to deal with demand they now find that there is not the expected demand so they're laying-off people.

What, specifically, is your complaint and how is this article evidence of mis-spending.

Frankly, you daily reproduction of yellow 'journalism' bearing no relation to house prices is boring.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12...al-Pursuit.html

At least we can console ourselves that all of this helped to boost the last quarters GDP figures.

We truly are led by incompetent clueless idiots, so they created a panic and then open up huge call centres after the mass hysteria dies down.

Tax money well spent.

Gordon is one giant mofo idiot.

I and others called this for the fiasco it was at the start.

However there are a number on this forum who were clamouring for more and running around in panic. You know who you are.

Just a pity the MMGW idiocy won't resolve itself as swiftly and decisively as this.

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I and others called this for the fiasco it was at the start.

However there are a number on this forum who were clamouring for more and running around in panic. You know who you are.

Just a pity the MMGW idiocy won't resolve itself as swiftly and decisively as this.

Certainly you and others were critical from the start but that comes as no surprise - we have a lot of monday-morning experts on this site - few of them have anything constructive to offer.

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Certainly you and others were critical from the start but that comes as no surprise - we have a lot of monday-morning experts on this site - few of them have anything constructive to offer.

No, all we were was correct. Nothing useful there compared to mindless obedience to every scare story.

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It wasn't the govt that induced the panic, but the 'free' press. Nobody here knew how swine flu would spread, so it's ridiculous to slam preparation for a worst case scenario. I dare say if Gordon Brown chose to eat weetabix instead of cornflakes for breakfast that would also be cited as a form of madness and a colossal waste of tax payers money.

The Daily Mail has only ever been anti-intellectual trash.

I think New Labour has been a failure, but there is no way I could support the Conservatives. It's been made perfectly clear that they are too full of gibbering idiots.

Edited by starsky

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It wasn't the govt that induced the panic, but the 'free' press. Nobody here knew how swine flu would spread, so it's ridiculous to slam preparation for a worst case scenario. I dare say if Gordon Brown chose to eat weetabix instead of cornflakes for breakfast that would also be cited as a form of madness and a colossal waste of tax payers money.

The Daily Mail has only ever been anti-intellectual trash.

I think New Labour has been a failure, but there is no way I could support the Conservatives. It's been made perfectly clear that they are too full of gibbering idiots.

+1

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No, all we were was correct. Nothing useful there compared to mindless obedience to every scare story.

My objection to swine flu from the very start

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/lof...hp/t113043.html

was that the basic science in no way supported the hysteria.

The science behind global warming does support the hysteria and is getting worse all the time.

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It wasn't the govt that induced the panic, but the 'free' press. Nobody here knew how swine flu would spread, so it's ridiculous to slam preparation for a worst case scenario. I dare say if Gordon Brown chose to eat weetabix instead of cornflakes for breakfast that would also be cited as a form of madness and a colossal waste of tax payers money.

The Daily Mail has only ever been anti-intellectual trash.

No, the phenomenon goes much deeper than that. It's control stuff, like religion was and Terrorism is.

The media just plays its part and is rewarded with money and attention. They are just whores in the game.

Just watch the events and the patterns become obvious. Y2K, MMGW, Pandemics all follow the same path and inevitably somewhere along the way there'll be tax and distraction in each one.

EDIT: Coincidentally we posted consecutively on that one. I just have a more cynical view of MMGW.

Edited by bogbrush

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That's a bit too tinfoilhat for my tastes bogbrush. Swine flu is real, it is/was unpredictable, people panic and the govt response was as much to do with that paniced response as anything else (eg stocking Tamiflu to placate the public, even though medical opinion was against it). It was not a situation that could just be ignored.

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No, all we were was correct. Nothing useful there compared to mindless obedience to every scare story.

Your position was always going to be 100% right or 100% wrong - no position from which to build a sensible/proportionate response to a risk which literally mutates. If you were wrong, let's be honest, no-one would have noticed and no-one would have cared.

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Frankly, you daily reproduction of yellow 'journalism' bearing no relation to house prices is boring.

I agree, too many threads on this board as it is, would appreciate it if people saved stuff like this for the off-topic board where it should be.

Threads like these are about as relevant to either house prices or the economy as the molecular structure of sucrose.

Edited by DementedTuna

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No, the phenomenon goes much deeper than that. It's control stuff, like religion was and Terrorism is.

The media just plays its part and is rewarded with money and attention. They are just whores in the game.

Just watch the events and the patterns become obvious. Y2K, MMGW, Pandemics all follow the same path and inevitably somewhere along the way there'll be tax and distraction in each one.

EDIT: Coincidentally we posted consecutively on that one. I just have a more cynical view of MMGW.

The notion that the media is neutral, merely profiteering, is at best misleading and at worst false. The media not only frequently set the agenda but they manufacture the lens through which people judge events - they mediate.

One recent example of how this informs people's impressions of events is readily illustrated by last week's screaming story from Tory party central office that 5 million people have never worked under Labour. This story was widely reported in the press uncritically prior to Theresa May's set speech. Indeed it was reprinted on this site by the usual Tory party supporters as well.

Turns out that the story was a lie - 3 million of those people had never worked under the previous Tory administration either. Of the remaining 2 million half were under 19 and studying. Just one small example of how the media are not neutral.

Using your analogy the whore is diseased and passing on the clap to anyone who comes into contact.

Edited by happy?

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Isn't this a bit premature - over the next 2-3 weeks we will start getting colder nights even if the days will still be warm.

A breeding ground for flu as people don't dress properly i.e. wear a coat in the day too hot leave it at home and freeze at night.

Surely if we do have a return of swine flu it will start in late September.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12...al-Pursuit.html

At least we can console ourselves that all of this helped to boost the last quarters GDP figures.

We truly are led by incompetent clueless idiots, so they created a panic and then open up huge call centres after the mass hysteria dies down.

Tax money well spent.

Gordon is one giant mofo idiot.

Money well spent in Gordo's eyes. Stopped people thinking about the real problems facing the country. :P

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Your position was always going to be 100% right or 100% wrong - no position from which to build a sensible/proportionate response to a risk which literally mutates. If you were wrong, let's be honest, no-one would have noticed and no-one would have cared.

So........ being right isn't sensible?

The sensible thing to do about SW was to forget all that nonsense about travelling restrictions and so on, all the stupidity about staying out of enclosed areas because if the thing is really contagious then it's going to spread anyway - in 4 weeks or 4 months everyone would have it.

Next would have been to study it (as I'm sure they did) and to develop counters if needed.

And finally, to have reminded everyone that while these things are worth watching, real flu kills between 250 - 500,000 people a year and that this sort of thing happens.

Nope, we got WHO crisis pronouncements, absurd online diagnostics devices (superbly lampooned by the Mash), and a general sense that this was really important (I wonder why........).

It's like MMGW, where I can never remember whether the warning is that we must stop CO2, or whether it's already gone way out of control. Either way, the last thing I ever hear is what an adaptable and intelligent species we are and how we are going to concentrate on making the best of a warming climate (which inevitable HAS to have an upside).

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The notion that the media is neutral, merely profiteering, is at best misleading and at worst false. The media not only frequently set the agenda but they manufacture the lens through which people judge events - they mediate.

How is someone "playing their part" neutral? The media is locked in an embrace with governments because they depends on them for news and approval, and the other depends on them for manipulation.

You can throw much of academia in there now as well.

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Damn it gets painful after a while being right all the time. I said a few months ago swine flu would amount to nothing. People really believed that like 400,000 people would die or something.. and the histeria was everywhere. Remember the idiots were even talking about a national work holiday for 2 weeks to stop swine flu?

The media-state-big company fear machine went into action and got people riled up about swine flu. Just like with avian flu before it, and a long list of other fears before that.

But soon enough swine flu will be forgotten, and then a new 'imminent danger' will emerge to make people afraid.

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I believe it's gone quiet for the following reasons:

1. Children are a major vector for transmission and the summer holidays put a stop to it.

2. The virus works best at lower temperatures (atmospheric not body) than our summer.

3. There's been something of a blackout on news reporting, same as SARS.

TFH

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You really do need to understand that the Daily Mail is not a newspaper and consequently citing it as of evidence of your views cuts no ice with most reasonably well-read people.

Despite the painfully obvious spin to this article the truth is that they're laying-off staff because there has not been the anticipated demand. No-one knew at the start of this disease how it would pan-out - had the government done nothing then it would have been pilloried in the Daily Hate for failing in its duty to protect the public.

Having put in place call-centres to deal with demand they now find that there is not the expected demand so they're laying-off people.

What, specifically, is your complaint and how is this article evidence of mis-spending.

Frankly, you daily reproduction of yellow 'journalism' bearing no relation to house prices is boring.

Thanks for advice, I always thought the Mail was a bastian of calm and knowledgable reporting clearly that's not the case. I'm shocked to find it has a tendancy for the dramactic and I feel humbled.

My mate works in the lab testing for this stuff and even at the height of the hysteria it was only about 1% of people being tested had it. The whole thing was complete bu11shit and yet everone went to town on it.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/h...icle6623554.ece

More than 100,000 swine flu cases could be diagnosed every day by the end of next month, the Health Secretary has warned. Britain has moved past the stage of trying to contain the spread of the virus and into the “treatment phaseâ€, Andy Burnham told the House of Commons.

Yep it was just the press ramping this, the govt did nothing.

But govts never lie only the press.

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I and others called this for the fiasco it was at the start.

However there are a number on this forum who were clamouring for more and running around in panic. You know who you are.

Just a pity the MMGW idiocy won't resolve itself as swiftly and decisively as this.

You and others need to stop reading the Daily Mail.

http://www.viz.co.uk/

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You and others need to stop reading the Daily Mail.

http://www.viz.co.uk/

The Daily Mail and its readers are about to inherit the Earth.

The problem is, it will be a very scorched Earth after three terms of Nu Labour Socialist fantasy land economics.

Some of you guys are in for a very unhappy 10-15 years IMHO.

:blink:

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