I have had some emails and seen lots of misinformation regarding the vote in parliament on the Opposition Day Motion on NHS Staff Coronavirus testing, and I wanted to set the record straight.
I will be clear, I am not against regular testing of our NHS staff and I fully support the testing policy as advised by the Chief Medical Officer. The Shadow Health Secretary said at the start of his remarks in the opposition day debate that Labour were calling for weekly testing of NHS staff ‘if necessary’, but ‘if necessary’ was not included in the motion. The motion would have called for blanket weekly testing without any qualifications.
The current policy is for regular testing including weekly testing if that is required. I will continue to support this approach, as advised by the Chief Medical Officer and Health officials. Myself, and fellow Conservative MPs, are not against regular testing of NHS as has been suggested.
This regular testing is already Government policy.
The motion I supported that was ultimately passed unopposed read:
“That this House expresses thanks to the heroic work of frontline NHS staff who have saved lives throughout the Covid-19 pandemic; pays tribute to the at least 312 NHS and Social Care staff who have died of coronavirus in the United Kingdom; recognises the impact that coronavirus will have upon the NHS to deliver routine care including mental health care without additional Government support; notes that NHS waiting lists are projected to reach 10 million by the end of 2020, that cancer referrals fell 60 per cent during the peak of the coronavirus lockdown and that four out of five children have reported their mental health has got worse during the pandemic; further notes that there is a backlog of NHS care that needs to be tackled and that it is vital to prepare NHS services to deliver safe care alongside care for coronavirus, including preparing for winter and ensuring necessary supplies of PPE and medicine; and recognises the unprecedented action the Government has taken in its tireless efforts against Coronavirus to protect the NHS and save lives.”