Lucy Allan MP: Coronavirus testing update

Anyone in the UK who has any of the symptoms of coronavirus can now ask for a test through the NHS website. This is an important milestone, which has been achieved thanks to the hard work of those in the health, social care, and logistic industries.

It is important that people are able to access tests and receive their results quickly. Testing is available nationwide, and some sites are busier than others at times. Additionally, home testing is available across the country.

The Government continues to prioritise testing, which is why Lucy welcomes the announcement of an aim to test millions of people each day, helping to identify asymptomatic sufferers and expand testing capacity.

A range of innovations are being considered to help to achieve this, including saliva testing and tests which could return results in just 20 minutes. 

This is in addition to the UK’s separate coronavirus monitoring programme, which regularly tests a random sample across the UK to track the disease’s prevalence in society. This programme, which will test 150,000 people by October, ultimately aims to test 400,000 people across the UK to ensure a greater understanding of the disease’s spread.

Lucy Allan MP said:

“The efforts of the past few months to establish a nationwide testing capacity have been determined despite the challenges faced. The Government has set ambitious targets to scale up the number of available tests and these targets are being met.

Inevitably, creating a new testing regime from scratch in a matter of months has not been easy for the health services. I am aware of a small number of people in Shropshire, one of whom is my constituent, who have been directed to test sites that are many miles from the County. This should not have happened. My constituent has now been offered a test locally. 

All testing sites continue to have capacity, and it is demonstration of the number of tests that are now being undertaken that we are now seeing minor strains on laboratories, which Public Health England is working hard to resolve."

Sarah-Jane Marsh, Director of and NHS Test & Trace, said:

“Can I please offer my heartfelt apologies to anyone who cannot get a COVID test at present.

All of our testing sites have capacity, which is why they don’t look overcrowded, it is our laboratory processing that is the critical pinch-point.

We are doing all we can to expand quickly.”