To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to what extent local authorities have been involved in the setting up of covid-19 testing stations; and what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the extent of local authority involvement in that matter.
During the first phase of the testing programme our priority was to find reliable tests, and to scale-up our capacity to deliver. We took a more centralised approach to testing, focusing on the safety of patients, those at greatest risk, getting health, social care and other essential workers back to work and on improving our understanding of the virus and its spread.
The current phase of testing gives Directors of Public Health, their councils and local partners a greater role in deciding where and who to test, building on their understanding of their local communities. Local authorities are being given greater scope to design different types of testing models which are suited to the needs of their population and local communities, with a focus on reaching communities who they know from can face barriers to accessing services.