Coronavirus: Screening

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 17th November 2020.

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Photo of Preet Kaur Gill Preet Kaur Gill Shadow Secretary of State for International Development

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using routine hospital laboratories to support the processing of covid-19 tests.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

NHS England is building COVID-19 testing capacity towards their target of 100,000 tests per day. Many hospital pathology laboratories are already conducting COVID-19 testing as part of their wider pathology services, where they can balance this with routine services.

It would not be appropriate to ask all National Health Service hospital laboratories to conduct COVID-19 testing and the Department is working with NHS England to ensure a pragmatic balance is struck between maximising COVID-19 testing capacity and the delivery of other services.

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