Evidence to the APPG on Coronavirus
During the COVID-19 pandemic the College President, Professor Jo Martin, and College Vice President, Dr Rachael Liebmann, have both given spoken evidence to the APPG on Coronavirus on Test and Trace. Find out more and watch the evidence sessions:
College President gives evidence to the APPG on Coronavirus
College President, Professor Jo Martin, contributed spoken evidence on 19 August 2020 to a live evidence session run by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Coronavirus. The meeting focused on test and trace and was an opportunity to highlight some of the points made in the College SARS-CoV-2 testing strategy which, we intend, will be used to build robust process and structures that will work for the future.
The strategy emphasises that testing is not something that is just done and counted. It is a process with clinical purposes for individual patients, for those who care for them and for the population at large. It is a conscious and targeted use of valuable materials and highly skilled professionals within the context of a pathway and purpose.
During the meeting Professor Martin commented on testing for NHS staff:
‘Being able to release and protect service critical staff, being able to test and have responsive decision making based on rapid testing is vitally important’
Professor Martin also commented on the changes taking place at Public Health England and the impact on staff:
‘PHE staff have been astonishing. They have worked absolutely; creating evidence, gathering evidence, and any time of the day or night if I wanted to know something there would be somebody in PHE who would respond to that.’
‘Groups created, information sharing, and the willingness to really go above and beyond has really been admirable, absolutely admirable. I couldn’t fault the personal dedication of the staff of PHE during this time.’
Dr Rachael Liebmann gives evidence on Test and Trace
On 6 October 2020 College Vice President of Communications and International, Dr Rachael Liebmann, gave spoken evidence on Test and Trace to the APPG. Dr Liebmann gave an update on testing and spoke about connectivity between the Lighthouse labs and the NHS :
‘I think that a much closer working relationship between pillar 1 and pillar 2 labs would benefit everyone. There is no good reason why we don't have mutually beneficial relationships [between labs].'
Dr Liebmann also highlighted access to testing for COVID-19:
'We already have an inequality of access in that people who are able to drive to a swabbing centre are more likely to be able to access a test and we know that 40% of care workers do not have a car. If you then say that only those with smart phones have access to the app... I don't feel that an inappropriately skewed access to testing helps us in any way.'