Pressure group Doctors Association UK (DAUK) has warned that the government has not learned lessons from the first wave of the pandemic – insisting that the NHS ‘can’t afford for a single doctor to be self-isolating’ due to a lack of tests. A snapshot DAUK survey found that ‘hundreds of doctors’ are off work because they can’t get tested – with over three-quarters of doctors who needed a test saying they had been unable to access one.
The calls come as health secretary Matt Hancock admitted testing problems could take ‘weeks’ to resolve – and said he would ‘not shirk from decisions’ about who should be prioritised.
GPonline has reported that GPs and hospitals doctors – as well as patients – have been unable to access tests and offered tests far from home, amid a rise in COVID-19 cases to levels last seen in May.
NHS Providers, which represents trusts, warned that ‘clear capacity problems’ had left NHS staff across the country unable to work. It highlighted particular problems in Bristol, Leeds and London.
One GP responding to the DAUK poll said: ‘Finally got one through local hospital staff testing but due to resources being stretched can only test one child so I just had to pick the child which was worse.’