Most NHS Leaders Lack Faith in U.K. Government Testing Strategy

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The leaders of just one in five National Health Service trusts said the U.K. government has taken the correct approach to coronavirus testing so far, according to a survey by NHS Providers.

In addition, two thirds of respondents said the government’s testing strategy would not meet the needs of their users over the next three months. The trusts are the organizational units of the country’s health service.

The report comes as the government restarts trials of its coronavirus-tracing app, after a previous effort was abandoned. Identifying people who may have been infected and isolating them without locking down the whole country is crucial to the government’s efforts to restart the economy.

“We need to see further improvements in the turnaround speeds of test results for symptomatic patients and staff when trusts have to use” laboratories that are not part of the health service, said Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers. “There is no time to lose as trusts stand by for a second surge of COVID-19, prepare for added winter pressures, and work towards restoring normal levels of routine services.”

The leaders of more than half of England’s 223 NHS trusts responded to the poll. NHS Providers represents workers in the health service’s hospitals, ambulance and mental health services.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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