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Coronavirus testing is ‘dying on its a***’ as labs ‘fail to keep up with demand’

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One of the country's top scientists has claimed that coronavirus testing in the UK is "dying on its a***" as labs failing to keep up with demand.

Dr Phil Robinson, a genomics expert and inventor who visited the labs, says "every part of the process was poor" – as thousands of Brits struggle to book themselves a test locally.

He has now slammed the chaotic system, saying processes should be standardised for maximum efficiency.

Dr Robinson told the Times: "Testing is dying on its a*** because schools are going back and here we are again.

"They haven’t used that period of lockdown to implement automation."

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He says that labs are overwhelmed with thousands of packages each day, with staff working in a buddy system to check each stage of workings.

Dr Robinson said: "Even with two people, with the best in the business, they make mistakes.

“Every part of the process was poor. The other ludicrous issue they have is they have 20 different types of tube coming into the lab.

"When you are running a high throughput lab it’s only sensible to have one. Why they haven’t standardised that I have no idea.”

Dr Robinson claims Lighthouse Labs, which get samples from members of the public and process most of Britain's tests, are struggling to cope and has now proposed his own invented method for mass testing to the NHS.

He says labs often fail to keep in touch with NHS labs, which carry outpatient tests in hospitals, and often asked them to help with extra work.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Many of these claims are false and inaccurate — our capacity is the highest it has ever been and our laboratories are processing more than a million tests a week.

“There has been a spike in demand in recent weeks and we’re doing everything possible to overcome this challenge – including by bringing in new labs that can process tens of thousands of tests a day, opening new test sites, and trialling new rapid tests that will give results on the spot.”

  • NHS
  • Coronavirus

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