Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:37 pm on 15th September 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 12:37 pm, 15th September 2020

We are increasing that capacity, and we are bringing in new technologies to those labs to expand on that. My hon. Friend is a great expert in this issue and makes a really important point. The current technology works best in labs—people send a swab to the lab and get the result back, but there is a huge amount of logistics around that. We want technologies that can be in a pharmacy or a GP service, so that people get the test result back straight away. When such technologies come on stream—I am optimistic about this, as I am about a lot of things; I do not think I could do this job at the moment without being optimistic—that will give us a chance to get testing out into the community at every level.

We need to tackle problems such as the challenges you have in Chorley, Mr Speaker—you rightly brought them to my attention in your role as a local MP, as we all are—not by having a big national system, but through solutions that are deeply embedded in the community. When we have the technology to do that, we will be in a stronger place, and we are putting every possible effort and support behind people to try to make that happen.