Serco didn’t build and does not run the NHS Test and Trace app

30 September 2020
What was claimed

The NHS test and trace app was created by Serco, not the NHS.

Our verdict

Serco did not build and does not operate the NHS test and trace app.

We’ve seen multiple claims that suggest the recently launched NHS Test and Trace app for England and Wales is not made by and owned by the NHS, but by Serco, a private company that is contracted to provide a range of public services.

Firstly, Serco played no role in the creation of the NHS Test and Trace app. This is shown in numerous ways—the company is not listed as a group involved in the app, which includes arms of the NHS, as well as staff from the private firm Accenture, and the company is not mentioned in relation to the app in coverage

Serco is not listed as processing any data in the app’s privacy notice.

Confusion may have stemmed from the fact that Serco does play a role in the Test and Trace process, rather than the app itself. Along with other companies, Serco is contracted to manage facilities at some regional test sites as well as some aspects of contact tracing via call centres for pillar 2 tests, (which are tests taken by members of the public). However, this work is separate from the app. 

It’s unclear where this claim first originated, although Russia Today did claim Serco were behind the app in May. 

Contracts awarded to Serco by the government can be found in the awarded and closed section of’s Contracts Finder tool.

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