Covid-19 Update

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:31 pm on 5th October 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 4:31 pm, 5th October 2020

The expansion of the NHS testing is, of course, critical as well. The system in question, where the problem was over this weekend, brings together the data both from the NHS systems and from the so-called pillar 2 systems. The challenge was in a system that integrates the two, rather than just on one side or the other, but my right hon. Friend makes a broader point, which is that as we expand the NHS’s capacity as part of the overall expansion of testing, we have to ensure that we use that capacity to best effect. In many parts of the NHS, increasingly, it is NHS testing capacity that is used for NHS staff testing. That system works well, because the test is local and convenient, and we are looking to expand in exactly the sort of direction that he outlines. I urge colleagues away from trying to bifurcate between the two systems. Essentially, we have a whole series of different ways to access a test, and we need to make sure that people get the tests that are easiest to access for them as much as possible.