Coronavirus and Influenza: Diagnosis

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 4th July 2022.

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Photo of Daisy Cooper Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health and Social Care), Deputy Leader, Liberal Democrats

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to facilitate wider uptake of rapid point-of-care diagnostics in primary care settings in respect of covid-19 and influenza.

Photo of Daisy Cooper Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health and Social Care), Deputy Leader, Liberal Democrats

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what measures his Department is putting in place to help support primary care settings to quickly and effectively access diagnostic testing platforms as part of their approach to managing respiratory infections.

Photo of Daisy Cooper Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health and Social Care), Deputy Leader, Liberal Democrats

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to financially support local health systems to achieve greater uptake of rapid point-of-care diagnostics ahead of the forthcoming winter season.

Photo of Daisy Cooper Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health and Social Care), Deputy Leader, Liberal Democrats

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Academy of Medical Sciences report, COVID-19: Preparing for the future, what steps his Department is taking to integrate multiplex testing that can distinguish between SARS-CoV-2 and influenza in primary and community care settings to help to reduce the transmission of both viruses.

Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Throughout the pandemic, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has made COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and lateral flow device (LFD) tests available for primary care, as clinically required. The UKHSA continues to provide LFD and PCR testing for individuals in high-risk settings, including in primary and community care.

Multiplex testing is available to primary and community care services through National Health Service laboratories, which accelerates access to diagnostics and enables effective management of respiratory infections. While the UKHSA keeps the deployment of multiplex testing in primary care settings under review, there are no current plans for its provision in primary care settings.

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