1 April 2020

College President responds to the Secretary of State about pathology labs taking on increased COVID-19 Testing.

Professor Jo Martin, President, The Royal College of Pathologists said:

‘Increased testing is vital to track and manage the COVID-19 outbreak.  In particular, it is good to see that in addition to patients, NHS and social care staff are a testing priority to provide security and reassurance that they are fit and well enough to work.

Our members have been working extremely hard, and really well, in ramping up testing for COVID-19. Virologists and laboratory staff have the expertise to take on and manage at scale the additional testing needed. This is highly skilled work and they are responding brilliantly, working long hours under great pressure to get this expansion in place.

There have been significant challenges and barriers to increasing capacity for testing across all labs, not least due to issues with the supply chain for testing materials. We have been working with government to try resolve these issues and we will do what we can to help our members to meet the challenges ahead, and to get the testing and clinical support in place for all those who need it.’