London, Sept 4 (ANI): Hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money has been 'squandered' - thanks to the bored workers of dried-up swine flu hotlines in the UK who spend most of their time sleeping, playing cards, boozing and smoking dope.
The National Pandemic Flu Service, which started one and a half months ago, had 19 call centres under its aegis to diagnose cases and give advice on the pandemic.
However with the stabilization of services and a dip in infection rates the staff have hardly any work to busy themselves with.he Sun quoted an insider from a centre in Swansea, South Wales as saying: "It's a complete waste of taxpayers' money.
"We have to stay at our desks in case the phones ring. But most days now we're only getting one or two calls. Five calls in a shift is busy. We keep ourselves occupied with a whole range of games. It's like being on holiday."
The Swansea call centre, managed by Conduit, has a staff of 130 workers.
Each worker is paid 6-pound per hour and it is believed the NHS pays Conduit about nearly 20 pounds per hour for each employee. This amounts to a public expenditure of 1.2million pounds every month.
Conduit has, however, kept mum on the issue and the Health Department shirks off its responsibility of the staff to the call centre management. (ANI)