Deputy Chief Medical Officer says regular testing for NHS staff not “important”
Welsh Conservatives have expressed concerns after the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Wales said that he did not believe twice-weekly use of lateral flow tests for NHS staff is “particularly important”.
Dr Chris Jones’ comments to BBC Wales Live last night follows news that some hospitals in Wales did not introduce regular Covid testing for its staff for weeks after health boards were meant to have implemented them.
Commenting, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Health Minister Russell George MS said:
“As I said when the story first emerged, the lack of routine testing for frontline NHS staff is both shocking and strange, and goes a long way to explain how a quarter of Covid deaths in Wales were due to infections acquired in hospitals.
“It’s a national scandal that 1 in 4 people in Wales who have died from Covid acquired the infection in hospital – compared to 1 in 8 in England – and these comments will raise an eyebrow among frontline NHS staff and grieving families who have lost loved ones after contracting the virus in Welsh hospitals.
“Is this an instruction that has come from on high from ministerial level in the Labour Government? If testing NHS staff is not a priority or deemed important for ministers, then how on earth are we ever going to tackle hospital acquired infections that are raging out of control in Welsh hospitals and seeing people die unnecessarily?
“Labour’s health minister must urgently explain the government’s policy and position when it comes to testing NHS staff and once again this only goes to show why we need a Wales-specific Covid inquiry into the decisions taken by ministers in Cardiff Bay.”