Part of Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:34 am on 22nd April 2020.

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Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party 11:34 am, 22nd April 2020

I welcome the fact that capacity has gone up, but it is not now a question of driving up demand; demand is there. Last week, the Health Secretary said that every care worker who needed a test would get one, but the reality on the ground is very different, and there are very few tests indeed.

The position is this: if a care worker has symptoms of coronavirus—or a family member does—he or she has to self-isolate, quite rightly. To get a necessary test, they are then instructed to travel to a testing centre, which is often many miles away. For example, social care workers in Leicester are told to go to the outskirts of Nottingham, a 45-minute drive, in order to get tested. There are lots of examples of this across the country.

There is an obvious problem with that system. Not all care workers have access to a car and, because they or a family member have symptoms, they obviously cannot use public transport, so it is little wonder that we see those pictures of half-empty testing centres. That does not look like a good plan. It is not about driving up demand; it is about tests and where they are needed. What reassurance will the First Secretary give to care workers on the frontline that things will improve for them, and fast?