College President gives evidence to Health and Social Care and Science and Technology committees

College President, Professor Jo Martin contributed spoken evidence on 10 November 2020 on test, trace and isolate to a live evidence session with the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee and Science and Technology Committee as part of their joint inquiry into lessons to be learned from the response to the coronavirus pandemic so far.

Professor Martin’s evidence covered population level testing, the ramping up of testing and how to use new lab capacity in the future.

On scaling up testing, Professor Martin commented:

'Smaller NHS labs were desperate to ramp up testing in the early part of the pandemic but faced significant constraints, especially in the supply of testing materials.

NHS pathology labs process 1.1bn tests per year so they were well set up for high volume testing. The decision to set up independent labs, where data didn’t flow well into the NHS and public health, is something we’ve learnt from.'

Professor Martin also spoke about lab capacity in the future:

‘This won't be our last pandemic, so we will always need stand-up capacity for major incidents and major disease outbreaks. Progress in IT infrastructure has been a major success’

Watch the Health and Social Care committee and Science and Technology committee evidence session, 10 November, on test and trace

Professor Jo Martin gives spoken evidence to the Health and Social Care and Science and Technology select committees on COVID-19 test and trace