Virus test shortages harming health system, say United Kingdom hospitals

Virus test shortages harming health system, say United Kingdom hospitals

Dr Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said: "Our members are telling us that lack of access to testing for staff is a major barrier to them delivering services and achieving targets set to restore services".

Home Secretary Priti Patel also denied there was anything close to a testing crisis.

Meanwhile the leader of the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has called on the government to "place our trust in the local" and allow local public health teams to have a greater role in dealing with the pandemic.

A lack of Covid-19 tests for medics, their families and hospital patients in the United Kingdom has led to a situation in which people are being denied necessary treatment and vital specialists are having to self-isolate, NHS trusts warn.

"It's not just access for tests for staff members themselves, it's also access for their family members as NHS workers have to self-isolate if their family members are unable to confirm if they have Covid-19 or not".

He said hospital bosses were working in the dark as they did not know why there were shortages, how long they were likely to last, how geographically widespread they were nor what priority would be given to healthcare workers. At least 30 schools have already sent pupils home, and seven of them have shut down completely due to suspected cases, according to the Daily Mail.

"For example, trusts need to know if they should try to create or re-establish their own testing facilities as quickly as possible".

NHS leaders have called for health workers and patients to be given priority after Government sources admitted that demand for tests is now far outstripping supply.

The Department of Health and Social Care said new booking slots and home testing kits are being made available every day for people with symptoms.

For example, the rule applies to pubs but not schools or workplaces.

He said: "We've seen a sharp rise in people coming forward for a test, including those who are not eligible."And throughout this pandemic we have prioritised testing according to need".

"As demand has risen, we are having to prioritise once again". Both approaches ignore the operational problem at hand.

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"The trust leaders that we have talked to told us: 'Could we, please, have a little less of the political communication pretending that all is well and a little bit honesty about what is going on, so that we can actually deal with this?'" he revealed.

But he said a surge in demand for tests "was always going to happen at this time of year". "It's very worrying that we seem to be in a situation before really we've come into autumn and winter where we've maxed out the number of tests we can do".

"The worry is that we are not getting clear information on where the problems are and it seems that there's been a lack of foresight and planning for this to occur".

Britain eventually wants to be able to carry out millions of COVID-19 tests a day, known as Mr Johnson's "Operation Moonshot" plan for mass testing, but doing so depends on new technology being developed, Mr Hancock told Parliament.

In a speech to the doctors' union's annual meeting on Tuesday, Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: "The Government is now shooting for the moon promising to deliver mass continuous testing with a test that doesn't yet exist at a cost almost as much as the total NHS budget".

Sir John said there would be a "significant increase" in testing capacity over the next two weeks.

Following the exclusive investigation by LBC, Labour MPs questioned Health Secretary Matt Hancock in the Commons on Tuesday.

"Down here on planet Earth, we need a purpose-built testing and tracking system here and now with capability, agility and accessibility that does not require journeys of 100 miles that harm some of the most vulnerable", said Dr. Chand of BMA, and Nagpole is expected to deliver a speech in no time.

Bolton has the highest infection rate in England.

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday she was seeking "urgent discussions" with the United Kingdom government over delays in people receiving their test results.

An NHS spokeswoman said: "Hospitals continue to fully comply with recommended patient and staff testing protocols".

The Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary Jonathon Ashworth asked Mr Hanock why the NHS didn't use the Summer to expand NHS lab capacity for testing and "fix contact tracing".

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