U.K. Told to Urgently Address Virus Test Issues by Pathologists

(Bloomberg) --

The U.K. will have to urgently tackle problems with testing for Covid-19 after numerous issues arose during the pandemic, according to a new strategy published the Royal College of Pathologists.

Testing problems can include poor specimen sampling, “ineffective communication of the result, inappropriate application of the result, and lack of clinical input or oversight,” among other obstacles, the report said. “Many of these issues have been seen in recent times, all of which must be urgently addressed.”

The report also says that:

  • More workers, especially in transfusion and histopathology, the study and diagnosis of diseases of human tissue, will be needed because there are shortages
  • The NHS will have to build additional testing capacity as university laboratories that were used during the pandemic return to their normal use
  • Until a vaccine becomes available, more labs will be needed to perform a rapid turnaround of tests as patients are screened for the virus prior to operations, cancer treatment and other procedures
  • Many information systems in laboratories are obsolete and require replacement

More than 20 organizations support the document, including Public Health England, an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care.

The report comes after the U.K. Statistics Authority last week criticized the government’s coronavirus-testing data, saying it falls short of expectations. David Norgrove, the chairman of the agency, asked the government to provide a timetable for changes to the current testing data and for new data on the employment, age, gender and location of people who are infected.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.