Health Care

United Kingdom warned virus test shortages harming health system

United Kingdom warned virus test shortages harming health system”

NHS providers who represent NHS trust leaders voiced their fears over the weekend, that hospitals in Bristol, Leeds and London lacked tests for their staff.

Its chief executive Chris Hopson said the government should prioritise health workers, as shortages of tests had caused a slew of staff absences in major cities.

Mr Hancock said an updated prioritisation list would be published setting out who will be at the front of the queue for tests.

"So, for them that's a real problem".

"Throughout this pandemic, we have prioritised testing according to need".

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.

"We are in for a rough few weeks", one source told the Times, as hospitals and care homes increasingly complain about the insufficient amount of testing kits they receive. "They are not always comfortable, but they are important".

"The top priority is and always has been acute clinical care".

But Labour's shadow health secretary Mr Ashworth said Mr Hancock was "losing control of this virus".

NHS Providers has warned that the continued shortage of tests could send hospitals into chaos since NHS admissions of people with cancer, heart attacks and other deadly diseases already fell significantly in the first half of the year since priority was given to Covid-19 treatment.

"I think that we will be able to solve this problem in a matter of weeks", Mr Hancock replied. "It is wrong to say that tests are not available".

Mr Hancock told MPs that the average distance travelled to a test site is now 5.8 miles and defended the Government's efforts.

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He told the Commons: "Everyone in this House knows that we're doing more testing per head of population than nearly any other major nation, and I can update the House that we have now carried out over 20 million tests for coronavirus in this country".

Mr Hancock said the Government was working around the clock to fix the issues and that some people seeking tests were not eligible to receive them.

But he acknowledged the virus was spreading, both in the United Kingdom and around the world.

The testing crisis was revealed in a recent investigation by the LBS Radio, which reported that literally no test bookings were available in any of the UK's 10 Covid-19 hotspots, including Bolton, Salford, Bradford and Manchester.

"I think there is a surge in demand (and) I think our stated capacity is very different from actually how many tests can be run in a given day", he said. But the estimated cost for the program almost matches the whole NHS budget, Dr. Chaand Nagpaul says in a speech he plans to deliver Tuesday to the annual meeting of the doctor's union.

Downing Street acknowledged the "significant demand" for coronavirus tests but said "capacity is the highest it's ever been". We're aware of a small number of examples of patients being unable to get such tests, which cuts across trusts' ability to restore services in the way they have been asked to do.

"So extra demand on the system was inevitable, so why didn't he use the summer to significantly expand NHS lab capacity and fix contact tracing?"

"So I think they are definitely behind the curve in terms of getting the necessary tests for what we need today".

Now in the United Kingdom anyone with coronavirus symptoms can get a free test via the National Health Service, but a spike in the number of people wanting to get tested has seen long lines outside testing centres and reports of people in England's 10 worst-hit COVID-19 hotspots unable to get any tests at all.

He added that there are further concerns over patients being tested prior to treatment.

Alan McNally, director of the institute of microbiology and infection at the University of Birmingham, told the BBC there were "clearly underlying issues which nobody wants to tell us about", together with an increased need for testing.



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