Coronavirus: Screening

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 26th April 2022.

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Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Conservative, East Worthing and Shoreham

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential impact on (a) GP and (b) NHS capacity of the end of provision of free covid-19 lateral flow tests on 1 April 2022; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of reintroducing free lateral flow testing for NHS staff to help tackle staff shortages.

Photo of Maggie Throup Maggie Throup The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We are unable to provide the information requested on specific assessments as this relates to the development of Government policy. However, we continue with the National Health Service to assess the impact of the end of free universal testing on primary, community and acute healthcare settings. From 1 April 2022, our testing strategy is focussed on protecting the most vulnerable population groups and settings, continuing surveillance to identify variants of concern and maintaining the ability to respond to potential new variants. We will continue to provide some asymptomatic testing in NHS services during periods of higher prevalence, including for staff and patients.

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