(Source: The BMJ)
The UK’s community testing system for covid-19 seems to be under immense strain. This is the “pillar 2” testing: the commercial, centralised system set up by Deloitte consisting of local drive-in and walk-in test sites, with swabs being sent for analysis at the five Lighthouse laboratories around the country. In recent weeks the media have been full of stories of people finding that no tests are available or that they must travel hundreds of kilometres to get one. This has led to people turning up at emergency departments demanding tests and to long queues at testing sites.
Speaking at the Commons Science and Technology Committee on 17 September, Dido Harding, the head of NHS Test and Trace in England, admitted that the demand for coronavirus tests was three or four times higher than the total daily capacity.
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