RCGP calls for priority COVID-19 testing for healthcare professionals

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has called for priority coronavirus for frontline NHS staff

This is an edited version of a press release published by the RCGP.

Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the RCGP, said: “The College has been making a strong case that COVID-19 testing for healthcare professionals should be a priority. We know there are a significant number of healthcare colleagues who are following official advice and self-isolating, and only able to perform limited clinical tasks to support their colleagues. Testing would clarify whether they are safe to return to frontline patient care, where we know many would prefer to be.

“A huge amount of testing is currently happening, and there are plans to increase this, but we understand that with a limited supply of conventional COVID-19 tests, it needs to be prioritised in a way that helps to stop the spread of the virus best. It is our view that at a time when we need all hands-on deck across the NHS, the sooner healthcare professionals can be tested, the sooner that those who test negative can go back to helping deal with this outbreak.

“It is something our members are concerned about and we have fed this back to PHE and NHS England. Our hope that capacity issues will improve over the next few weeks and we know a lot of work is going into developing new, and perhaps more rapid, tests all the time.”

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