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Testing of NHS and Social Care Staff

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:48 pm on 24th June 2020.

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Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 6:48 pm, 24th June 2020

I am sorry, I will not give way, as I have only a minute left.

On testing, we are continuing to prioritise our frontline NHS staff with symptoms for testing and testing asymptomatic NHS staff where appropriate, where there is an incident. We are surveying the health and care settings in Public Health England’s SIREN study and monitoring prevalence. Although the CMO has recommended that testing happens fortnightly at the moment, all these issues are currently under review.

At the start of this crisis, we made sure that NHS capacity was always there at the time of need. The goal was clear that, however tough things got, the NHS would never fall short of that founding promise to be there for somebody who needs it. It meant taking difficult decisions and, as we rebuild and refocus on delivering for all those on the waiting list, I want to put on record my thanks to those on the frontline for their heroic efforts.

At the same time, the NHS has been instrumental in carrying out the world’s first successful clinical trial and, in just a few months, it has achieved much. The NHS is also playing a crucial role to help to operate one of the largest and most comprehensive test and trace systems in the world, with capacity for 280,000 tests today. I have gone on the record many times to say that our colleagues in the NHS and across the public services are always there for us. If you are concerned about anything, you should seek help. The NHS will always be there for you. But what we have discovered from the speech by the shadow Secretary of State