Thank you to those who have contacted me recently about coronavirus testing, NHS Test and Trace, and outsourcing.
As part of an unprecedented response to this pandemic, the Department of Health and Social Care have drawn on the expertise and resources of a number of public and private sector partners to support our NHS and social care sector. The Government has been guided by the science throughout, consulting with a range of experts in each field, and has made significant progress in testing capacity and analysis.
Testing and NHS Test and Trace services are being provided through the NHS. Additional providers like Serco and Sitel are also working with the public sector to deliver these services and I’m fully confident that these providers will be held to the highest standards to ensure that the best service possible is delivered.
We are aware of the frustration that some people are experiencing trying to access tests, and I’m also aware of the situation more locally in the constituency. I’m in regular contact with the Local Health Team and have received assurances at the highest level that work is being done urgently to increase testing capacity following a rise in the virus and an increase in the number of people wanting tests.
My ministerial colleagues are confident that 500,000 tests will be able to be processed daily by the end of October and we are increasing the number of testing sites by 20, which should enable people to find a test site closer to their homes, as well as increasing testing capacity. Pilots are also underway to trail a rapid test, where the results will not have to be processed in a lab, but can be done on the spot in as little as 20 minutes.
It is a testament to the ingenuity of British businesses that they have been able to adapt existing resources in a time of great need for the country, and I am extremely grateful to all organisations that have offered their services at this time.
Thank you again to those who took the time to raise this with me.