DAUK in The Times: Dr Rinesh Parmar calls for testing to be extended to frontline NHS staff

There have been calls to extend testing for NHS staff. Dr Rinesh Parmar, chairman of the Doctors’ Association UK, said: “Many healthcare professionals are questioning why they, as frontline NHS staff, are continuing to be denied testing for Covid-19 whilst an MP has not.

“NHS doctors are still being advised to self-isolate for 14 days if they do not meet the current threshold [for] testing should they become unwell. We are hearing from doctors who are frustrated that they cannot return to work for two weeks to serve patients due to being denied a test for Covid-19. Such a policy removes clinicians from an already short-staffed NHS at the time of its greatest need as well as putting doctors and their families at risk.”

Public Health England said it was aiming to “ensure we are prioritising those who are at highest risk of having the virus”. A spokeswoman added: “We also have a robust surveillance programme in place where we are testing a sample of the population which will help us to understand the level of virus circulating in the community.”