Isle of Wight MP, Bob Seely, gives two-week report card on Contact Tracing App

Bob Seely says the App remains an important part of the trace and test programme. “It is not, and never has been, a stand-alone project, but is part of the wider three-pronged approach,” he says

Bob Seely - Writing his acceptance speech?

News shared from the office of Bob Seely, in their own words. Ed

As the UK prepares for a national rollout of a full trace and test programme, the Isle of Wight continues to provide invaluable feedback to inform the use of a Contact Tracing App as part of this.

With over 53,000 Islanders having now downloaded NHSX’s App – equating to more than two thirds of the approximately 80,000 residents with a compatible smartphone – the Government is able to see how it works in practise within a defined community.

In the past few days, the Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Bob Seely, has spoken with a range of public sector professionals – who continue to analyse the operation of the app (and the wider trace and test scheme) – as well as Government Ministers.

Seely: App part of the wider three-pronged approach
Bob said:

“The app remains an important part of the trace and test programme which the UK is putting in place. It is not, and never has been, a stand-alone project, but is part of the wider three-pronged approach: the app, wider tracing and a comprehensive test programme. NHSX – the digital arm of the NHS – and Public Health England continue to work to ensure an integrated scheme.

“The app being used on the Island at the moment is effectively a beta version. It is and remains fully usable, and (a) people are still able to report symptoms through it and (b) notifications of being in contact with someone who has developed symptoms are being received, with instructions on what to do next.

“There will be upgrades to it and when we know more, I will pass that information on, but nothing specifically has changed. The app continues to be used and tested prior to national roll-out.

“I would ask Islanders to download (or continue with) the app. It helps to keep us safe, to reduce the Covid-19 infections on the Island and assist the rest of the country. Every day, health and digital professionals are learning more about how the app works in practise and identifying how it can be improved.

“I also welcome the fact that NHSX have enabled independent evaluation of the app to take place. The source code was published several days ago, thereby allowing third parties to scrutinise it and detect any vulnerabilities. The issues being identified are very low risk and are now being addressed as the app continues to improve ahead of fuller integration with the wider trace and test programme.

“We still have at least another week of the Island continuing to undertake this important role for the rest of the UK, so I would encourage all those using the app to provide feedback online and / or through my office. Working together, we can help make ourselves – and our country – safer.

“I would also like to thank others for their efforts in raising queries and disseminating information. The local media continues to ask a range of questions, and the local Labour Party has done the same, with answers published online as recently as yesterday. This type of constructive scrutiny – from the media, some other political representatives and technical experts who are “stress testing” the app – is important in a democratic society. The Isle of Wight Council and I are also adding to that feedback, as do Islanders by responding to the survey or giving feedback over the phone.

“Finally, I would like to address queries which have been raised about the turnaround time for test results. I have been advised that some temporary operational issues in the laboratory network had a short-term impact on both the turnaround time for samples and the proportion that returned a ‘void’ result. These have now been resolved.

“At the moment, 93% of test results are now being delivered within 48 hours of samples being taken.

“Furthermore, I am advised that currently only 3.5% of samples are voided (for example if the swab did not collect enough material), and those affected are being asked to book a re-test. These are issues which are being resolved as the system continues to improve. If you are booking a test, please read the instructions carefully as even items such as not putting the label on in the correct way can slow down test turnaround. Glitches are being ironed out, but clearly this has been one.

“What is clear is this: the NHS Covid-19 app – along with the wider test and trace scheme – are important for the Island and our country. We are making good progress.

“It is important that we continue to communicate as this progress is secured, whilst acknowledging that there will always be room for improvement and refinement in this rapidly evolving programme. I once thank fellow Islanders for this vital role that they are undertaking for everyone in our community, and the rest of the country.”

Image: © With kind permission of Allan Marsh

Wednesday, 20th May, 2020 6:31pm



Filed under: Health, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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20 Comments on "Isle of Wight MP, Bob Seely, gives two-week report card on Contact Tracing App"

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Anyone that heard this rude, arrogant and misogynistic man on Newsnight this week knows that his is desperately trying to save face by saying this app is a success when it’s a total failure.


He was desperate all right rude, lost and very unprofessional. The app is a white elephant. Strange that his mate Dave Stewart has gone quiet on this. All this hype and propaganda which proves it was a tool to reopen the Island prematurely and nothing else.

Wow….a whole 2 weeks since this app was launched on the Isle Of Wight. The Government only took on staff for the app a week ago. ‘It helps keep us safe.’ says Bob…..How does it? No data or any information from experts on how many alerts it has sent out. The app is being ditched + another, more reliable one introduced from June 1st. So desperate was… Read more »
Vix Lowthion

Excellent post.

Benny C
Golden rule. Never stand up and take flak when things go wrong. Dave Stewart was ‘allowed’, maybe even instructed, to go on Radio 4 to pre-announce (leak) the app test on the island. As I’ve said before he could not have done that without serious repercussions had the central party machine not sanctioned it. They may even have promoted it, so in the event of a failure… Read more »
Vix Lowthion
Dave Stewart went on Radio 4’s flagship news programme and told us he had a campaign to “SAVE OUR SUMMER”. As if the Island could have an app which would mean total protection for everyone who lived and visited the Isle of Wight, to allow us to fully open all our tourism and hospitality businesses, 2nd homes and get back to normal 35-60,000 people are dead. At… Read more »

So Seely is now saying the app is part of a wider three-pronged approach, so why wasn’t this ‘wider’ approach trialed?

Because it was always a scam to simply get everyone back to work, despite infection risks, and the Tory’s felt people on the IW were stupid enough to fall for it.


Absolutely right tony and sadly people did fall for it, let’s hope we don’t forget the way we have been treated by the very people who are in power to protect us, they have lied to us and failing to protect us.


What would have helped in this situation is if Bob had just said; “Sorry, we made a bad call on this.” The continual efforts of our elected officials and leaders to avoid admitting mistakes or even honest errors is the very thing that erodes our trust in them.

Rhos yr Alarch

A strange read, as I just heard on BBC News that the present app will be discontinued due to mutliple problems, and a whole new one will be introduced, after an initial pilot on….. the Isle of Wight!


Absolute nonsense you can’t trust a thing these Tories tell you, Bob Seely conceded on News night that the app wasn’t evaluated or tested and could only say ‘we’ve got to try something’ not if it puts us at risk, it will be ditched and won’t be rolled out to the nation. Absolute waste of time.

Jenny Smart

Watch the Bob Seely spin machine go into hyperdrive as he desperately tries not to lose face.

The island does lead in this respect, where the Conservative Government in Westminster follows.


Politicians have to earn the trust of the people Bob Seely has lost it he clearly can’t be trusted and should do the right thing and resign, his partner in crime Dave Stewart should follow suit as they were both driving this app for the wrong reasons.

Vix Lowthion

Please – we just want honesty here. And a good, robust contact tracing operation on the Island. Stop with the spin. So many of us want real, tangible developments.

You’re seriously wanting ‘honesty’ from a Conservative MP and a Conservative run Council? Hilarious! There is no contact tracing going on on the island, that was never part of the plan, otherwise it would have been put in place with human contact tracers on the island. There isn’t a single one on the island. It’s all a scam to get people back to work, nothing to do… Read more »

Has ‘Seldom seem’ Seely actually downloaded the app? Is he, or has he been recently, on the island? Does he actually live with his family on the island he supposedly represents in Parliament?

Angela Hewitt

The scientific advisor for Scotland admitted on the early evening news last night. can’t remember which one – I watch them all – that the Isle of Wight app was A RED HERRING!!
Boris has spent the past 15 years acting like he was a lovable buffoon – seems it wasn’t an act


Angela-typo-remove lovable……

Perhaps instead of launching the App as the saviour to all our problems, it could have been presented more honestly. There were many valid comments made by the general public who appear to have a better understanding of such matters then those “selling” the idea to us all. Indeed the report from Ian Levy shows that those working on the App were aware of some of the… Read more »
Mark L Francis
I’m still not getting this. If this was a trial what is the outcome? If the infection rate goes up that’s a success because more are detected & if it goes down , well that’s great two and if it strays about the same – well even better. But it seems the data is collected but without these manual tracers nobody knows what to do with the… Read more »