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Testing of NHS and Social Care Staff

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:31 pm on 24th June 2020.

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Photo of Andrew Griffith Andrew Griffith Conservative, Arundel and South Downs 6:31 pm, 24th June 2020

I will be brief so that as many hon. Members as possible can speak. I congratulate Dr Allin-Khan on securing this debate. It is good to debate this important subject.

I invite the Minister to join me in placing on record my thanks to the leadership team and all the staff at the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust. Sadly, we have had more than 100 deaths in west Sussex, but every one of those people was in the wonderful care and hands of the first acute trust in the country to be rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission twice in a row.

Collective achievements have individual heroes behind them. We are talking about testing, so I mention in particular the pathology lab at St Richard’s in Chichester. It has been working on swab tests since the start of the crisis, but it has now moved on to doing antibody tests as well. It has done 7,000 already and its capacity is now at 1,000 tests a day, which will be a valuable resource across west Sussex as we move into the next phase of the crisis.

Finally, I extend my thanks and recognition to all the hard-working staff in our care homes, of which we have a great many, for the wonderful job they have done. As we move forward from the acute phase, I am conscious that they will continue to bear that burden, so I thank them.