Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Testing of NHS and Social Care Staff

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:55 pm on 24th June 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Abena Oppong-Asare Abena Oppong-Asare Labour, Erith and Thamesmead 5:55 pm, 24th June 2020

My hon. Friend makes a very strong point with which I completely agree.

The organisation EveryDoctor, which has been representing doctors throughout the crisis, has reported that between mid-April and the end of May, 42% of the UK doctors it surveyed did not have access to adequate PPE. The Government have failed NHS and social care staff by failing to implement PPE guidelines in line with those from the World Health Organisation. Over a month into the crisis, NHS staff were failing to be provided with long-sleeved gowns, which were deemed essential by the World Health Organisation. We have heard these concerns from multiple organisations and from NHS and social care staff at first hand. We cannot allow a lack of PPE and testing to be a contributing factor in the cancellation of any more appointments going forward. With the risk of a second spike in the virus, we must put practical measures in place to urgently protect staff and patients.

NHS trust leaders have asked the Government to provide the following: first, external testing support, and details on when it will be available; secondly, clarity on the turnaround time for processing test results—the turnaround time for some health and care providers is currently three to seven days—and finally, clarification on whether testing capacity is being made available to support a range of services to recommence, or whether certain services are being given priority.

Last week, during a meeting of the Select Committee on Housing, Communities and Local Government, I asked whether the problems with the contact tracing app first reported during the testing stage on the Isle of Wight had been rectified, but I did not get an answer. Will the Government now give NHS and social care staff the answers and support they need so that long-overdue services can resume and staff can be reassured that all available measures to protect their wellbeing and that of their patients have been taken?