Europe

People missing routine NHS treatments because of covid test shortage

Patients across the country are being made to wait for treatment because they can’t book coronavirus tests, the CEO of NHS Providers has said.

Reports have indicated there are currently no testing options available in any of England’s top Covid-19 hotspots, including Bolton, Salford and Oldham, despite the government’s pledge to deliver a ‘world-beating’ system. Many health workers have also been forced to self-isolate as they’re unable to check whether they have the virus.

Discussing the issue on BBC Radio Four’s Today programme, Chris Hopson said of general NHS activity: ‘We have now got cases where patients who should be being treated, we can’t treat them because they can’t get access to a test. So, for them that’s a real problem.’

He went on: ‘Part of the problem here is that the government isn’t being as open as trusts would like about how big this problem is, how widespread it is, and how long it’s going to last. So, it’s difficult to get full information.’

Mr Hopson also warned of the increasing number of health workers having to self-isolate at home due to their symptoms, adding that the NHS ‘simply can’t spare members of staff’ to the long wait for tests.

He continued: ‘There is a significant impact and a growing impact on the NHS, and that is a problem.


‘Nobody knows how widespread this problem is, nobody knows how long it’s going to go on for, nobody knows, for example, given that there are scarcities of tests, about who’s going to be prioritised for those tests that are available.’

Mr Hopson urged the government to be ‘honest and open’ about the testing issues, and said NHS staff and patients should receive priority.

He added: ‘If you have got a demand-capacity mismatch, what you need to do is, kind of, prioritise really clearly, in terms of work out who should have greatest access to tests.

‘Now, clearly from the NHS’s point of view we would want to have our staff tested and we would also want to have our patients who are needing treatment. They are the people who are the real priorities.’

Earlier today Home Secretary Priti Patel dismissed concerns about testing capacity and said it was ‘wrong to say’ there were none available in some high-risk parts of the country.

Appearing on BBC Breakfast, she said the government was working on ‘surging capacity’ and that ‘book-in slots are being made available every single day’.

She also told Times Radio capacity was at the ‘highest level it has been since coronavirus’, adding: ‘I think we have to recognise this is challenging. There is no magic solution to say that it is all going to be perfect.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Source: Read Full Article