RCGP calls for priority COVID-19 testing for healthcare professionals

Publication date: 19 March 2020

Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, 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."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7494/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 53,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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