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Testing of NHS and Social Care Staff

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:57 pm on 24th June 2020.

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Photo of Jon Ashworth Jon Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 4:57 pm, 24th June 2020

The right hon. Gentleman is making a superb speech, and I agree with every word. I was struck by the Minister’s response to me when she made the point that the Government’s position is based on the advice of the chief medical officer. I would entirely understand if the Government said, “The resources are not quite there yet. We have not quite got capacity there. We need to build up capacity before we can test all the millions of NHS staff.” I think everyone would have thought that a reasonable position, and we would be urging the Government to go further. However, if the advice to the Government from the CMO is not the correct clinical approach, will the right hon. Gentleman, perhaps through his chairmanship of the Health and Social Care Committee, ask the CMO whether they will provide the Committee with that advice, and could that advice be shared across the House?