Only 2,000 NHS staff have been tested for COVID-19.
NHS Trusts across England have been ordered to “max-out” all available testing capacity by testing staff.
The news comes after the government confirmed yesterday that only 2,000 NHS staff had been tested for the virus.
In a letter to chief executives, NHS England and NHS Improvement stressed that COVID-19 testing for staff has to be dramatically increased.
The letter reads; “We want to max-out all available capacity in doing so, and so are now removing the 15% cap immediately.
“Effective today we are therefore asking chief executives of trusts that host an NHS lab doing COVID-19 testing personally to ensure that your lab’s capacity is fully used each and every day.”
“This can be achieved by using all spare testing for staff/index testing, either from within your own organisation or those of neighbouring acute and ambulance trusts.
“As soon as this has been implemented, and as extra lab volumes become available, the approach can over the coming days be extended to community, mental health and primary care services, along with social care.
“Given the lead time between swabbing and lab testing, it is vital that sufficient numbers of staff/index cases are swabbed today and each successive day to fill the next day’s lab testing capacity.”
The letter added that the army would also be involved in supporting the programme by moving samples around the country as quickly as possible.