Calderdale Council leader Tim Swift has spoken of his concerns after national NHS leaders warned that the Government’s failure to make sure enough Covid-19 tests are is available could put  health services at risk.

A report from NHS Providers this morning, the umbrella group who represent hospital and health trusts across the country, warns that testing shortages are starting to have an impact on NHS services. Health staff who are develop symptoms or are in contact with someone who tests positive must self isolate until they are able to have a test – if they cannot be tested quickly and receive the results promptly, they are forced to be absent from their vital jobs.

Cllr Swift said: “This is a serious warning and a major wakeup call for Government. If this problem is not tackled quickly, it will damage health services as they strive to restart normal services and plan for increased demand over the winter.

“I am speaking to our local health providers to get a clear understanding of the position locally.

“Of course the testing shortage is not just an issue for health services – I am already hearing reports of problems being caused for schools, and local residents are frustrated when they try to do the right thing and then find it difficult to book a test.

“The Government must have known that reopening schools was going to lead to increased pressure on the testing system. They need to be open and transparent, explain why the problems have arisen, and set out the immediate and practical actions they are taking to ensure enough tests are available to cope as we move into the Autumn.”

You can read the statement from NHS Providers about the national situation here: “NHS service recovery and winter preparation at risk from current testing shortages

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