Tuesday 22 September 2020
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Boris Johnson to face MPs as testing ‘failure’ puts NHS under ‘huge pressure’

Boris Johnson will face a grilling from senior MPs amid a warning that the failure of the test and trace system is placing huge pressure on the health service.As the system struggles to cope with soaring demand, people have been turning up to accident and emergency to ask for Covid-19 tests.Bolton NHS Foundation Trust said on Tuesday that a high volume of patients arrived to the A E requesting tests.Trust chair Professor Donna Hall said people in Bolton which has the highest infection rate in England had been trying to get tests via their GPs and the hospital when they could not get them online or at mobile testing units.A E is currently very busy, managing a high volume of patients who have arrived requesting a #COVID19 test Patients are requested not to turn up to the hospital, if you have symptoms here s what you should do https://t.co/LJlBytar5K https://t.co/W2PpfsnGgVpic.twitter.com/1OmidQ33ZG Bolton NHS (@boltonnhsft) September 15, 2020She told BBC Radio Four s The World Tonight: We had 100 people in our accident and emergency unit today, five ambulances queuing outside. This failure of the test and trace system is placing huge pressure on the NHS and social care. Prof Hall said the situation now is different to March when they had extra staff drafted in and were not expected to continue with planned operations.She said: We re seeing wards full of people. We ve now got 30 people who are Covid-positive and we ve got five people in our high dependency unit so this is not going away, this virus is not going away. Asked if there was more that could have been done to avoid this situation, she said: I ve felt that there has been a real lack of a cohesive strategy for the whole containment of Covid-19 and for test and trace. The stinging criticism comes ahead of the Prime Minister s appearance in the Commons, where he will face senior MPs who are likely to question him on the Government s handling of the corornaviurs crisis.Mr Johnson will face deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner for PMQs at noon because Sir Keir Starmer remains in isolation as he is still awaiting a coronavirus test result for a member of his family.The PM will later face questions from select committee chairs who make up the Liaison Committee.We are at a perilous moment.Boris Johnson and his Government need to fix testing now. https://t.co/Q7R8QJwlCJ The Labour Party (@UKLabour) September 15, 2020With his Government facing challenges on multiple fronts, Mr Johnson will be asked about the response to the pandemic, as well as Brexit negotiations and the Integrated Review of foreign policy, defence, security and international development.Health Secretary Matt Hancock has admitted that it might be a matter of weeks before the testing problems are resolved, and on Tuesday announced that tests in England will be rationed.He said there would be prioritisation of tests for people with acute clinical need and those in social care settings as he acknowledged operational challenges in the system.The updated prioritisation list which will set out who will be at the front of the queue is yet to be published.Mr Hancock faced a barrage of complaints in the Commons about people being forced to travel long distances or even enter false addresses in the hope of securing a test.He said there had been a sharp rise in people coming forward for a test, including some who are not eligible but Government sources acknowledged there was no accurate data on the latter.Prime Minister Boris Johnson will face MPs in the Commons on the Government s handling of the coronavirus crisis (House of Commons/PA)Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said the system s struggles have come at the worst possible time .He told BBC Two s Newsnight: I think we have got two or three weeks to fix these things. If we don t, the worry is we ll never regain control as we go into the rest of the autumn and winter. Leading figures in Whitehall are braced for a difficult winter with the possibility of further increases in Covid-19 cases among the more vulnerable elderly population. This is going to be a problem for six months and I think anyone who thinks otherwise is extremely optimistic, a senior source said.While the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 was relatively low, the source said the direction of travel is only going to go one way, in my view between now and the winter, which is up .(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[ GoogleAnalyticsObject ]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document, script , //www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js , ga ); ga( create , UA-72310761-1 , auto , { name : pacontentapi }); ga( pacontentapi.set , referrer , location.origin); ga( pacontentapi.set , dimension1 , By Aine Fox, PA ); ga( pacontentapi.set , dimension2 , 479d068d-23c6-430e-9911-32122ee0443a ); ga( pacontentapi.set , dimension3 , paservice:news,paservice:news:uk ); ga( pacontentapi.set , dimension6 , story ); ga( pacontentapi.set , dimension7 , composite ); ga( pacontentapi.set , dimension8 , null); ga( pacontentapi.set , dimension9 , null); ga( pacontentapi.set , anonymizeIp , true); ga( pacontentapi.send , pageview , { location : location.href, page : (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), title : Boris Johnson to face MPs as testing u2018failure u2019 puts NHS under u2018huge pressure u2019 });


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