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Coronavirus: Surveys

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 144875, tabled on 22 March 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 21 March 2022 to Question 140419, on Contact tracing: software, what the funding has been for the Office for National Statistics’ COVID-19 Infection Survey since its inception; what funding has been allocated for the continuing operation of that survey; if he will set out reasons for changes in funding allocated; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

26 April 2022

In 2020/21, expenditure on the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) COVID-19 Infection Survey was approximately £401.9 million. Confirmed expenditure in 2021/22 is not yet available as it is currently being audited. The ONS’ funding allocation for 2022/23, excluding testing, is £268.1 million. A proportion of this funding will be paid directly to other service suppliers and this allocation does not include the costs of processing tests.

The scale of the survey is planned to be reduced by approximately 25% with 300,000 tests completed per month. The study will also transition to a more cost effective, transformed model guided by a framework of ‘digital-first with remote sampling’. The goal is to continue the provision of high-quality COVID-19 data and analysis, whilst significantly reducing costs and creating a more sustainable solution.