Hospital heads have warned that a lack of coronavirus testing for NHS staff is leading to staff absences and services at risk.
NHS Providers, which represents hospital funds in England, said employees are forced to self-isolate rather than work because they cannot do tests for themselves or their family members.
Comes after widespread reports on People struggle to get tested.
The government said capacity was “the highest ever”.
Governmental Testing System – Part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s testing, tracking and tracing process I promised it would be “hit the world” He has faced criticism in recent weeks.
The increased demand for coronavirus tests has led to a local shortage – with some people present Guided to test sites hundreds of miles away From their homes.
at the same time, Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said She was seeking “urgent discussions” with the UK government about a clear backlog.
‘Work in the dark’
The latest numbers are from last week It showed that about 220,000 tests are processed daily.
According to those government figures, the test capacity is over 350,000 – which includes swab tests and antibody tests – but the goal is to increase that to 500,000 per day by the end of October.
Last week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted there were “challenges in accessing testing” but said that “the vast majority of people get their tests done quickly and close to home.” he is The proposed application is for people who have not shown symptoms The reason was partly in the shortage.
NHS Providers said hospitals in London, Bristol and Leeds had raised concerns over the weekend about staff absenteeism due to lack of testing.
“There are clearly capacity issues present with the test system,” said Chris Hobson, chief executive of NHS Providers.
“Not only is it access to the tests for the employees themselves, it is also access for their family members as NHS workers have to self-isolate if their family members are unable to confirm whether or not they have Covid-19.
“The problem is that the NHS funds are operating in the dark – they don’t know why this shortfall will occur, how long it will likely last, how far it will be geographically spread and the priority that will be given to health care workers and their families in accessing the rare tests.”
Mr Hopson said the funds need to know more details so they can plan accordingly, for example by setting up their test facilities.
“Our latest survey showed how concerned the trust leaders were about the effect of insufficient testing on their ability to restore services, and it is disappointing that no detailed information on current problems has been shared,” he said.
He said patients who are due to come for treatment should take priority for testing.
“I was supposed to see patients.”
The latest issue with the testing system is that some people who booked appointments have been turned down from testing centers because the system failed to send them a barcode.
Some people say they only booked tests online to be rejected because they did not send a QR code – a barcode that can be scanned on a smartphone.
A doctor working in the epicenter of the Coronavirus outbreak said that she and her partner had tested positive for a cough and fever.
After updating the site for five hours, she was able to get an appointment but upon arrival she was told that no reservations had been made.
She had taken screenshots of a confirmation code but was not sent to scan the QR code. “Screen shots were shown but I was told the appointments weren’t happening,” she said.
“I must say I burst into tears. I was supposed to see patients and feel guilty.”
A nurse in the southwest, whose daughter was suffering from a chronic cough and temperature, said he was nearly removed despite a test.
After hours of trying, he booked “in the end” at a location about 50 miles away and received a confirmation but without a QR code.
On reaching the test site, he was told he could not get the test. He said, “I’m told, there’s nothing we can do, at first.”
In the end, he applied for the first test appointment he could find anywhere in the country – in this case, about 500 miles in Dundee – and managed to get a QR code.
Written by Rachel Schreyer, BBC Health Correspondent
NHS Providers said a lack of testing also hindered preparations for winter, as hospitals could become more crowded due to Covid-19 and seasonal flu.
Mr. Hobson called on the government to “be honest and open” about what was going on.
Meanwhile, the president of the British Medical Association said the government should focus on the existing testing regime – rather than the “Moonshot Process” plan that aims to see millions of tests being processed every day using a new type of test that has yet to be rolled out.
“Down here on planet Earth, we need a purpose-built testing and tracking system here and now with capability, agility and accessibility that does not require journeys of 100 miles that harm some of the most vulnerable,” said Dr. Chand of BMA, and Nagpole is expected to deliver a speech in no time. Later on Tuesday.
Mr. Johnson He previously said The comprehensive testing program could be ready by spring and could help the UK avoid a second national lockdown.
A new laboratory will also open near Loughborough in the coming weeks, which will be able to process 50,000 tests per day.
The Ministry of Health and Social Care said that testing capacity has targeted the areas worst affected after the high demand.
An NHS spokeswoman said: “Hospitals continue to fully comply with recommended patient and staff testing protocols.
“To further support the national testing and traceability program, NHS Hospital Laboratories are now asked to further expand their capacity for successful, fast and highly accurate testing.”