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Jeremy Hunt urges the Prime Minister to respond to outstanding questions about test and trace target

26 June 2020

Health and Social Committee Chair Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP has called for the Prime Minister to answer urgent questions about the number of Covid-19 test results that are returned within 24 hours.  

Today Chair Jeremy Hunt has pressed the Prime Minister for a reply to questions first raised more than three weeks ago. In a letter sent to the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP on June 1, Jeremy Hunt asked for confirmation of an official 24-hour target for the return of test results, when it would be reached, how many were returned within this time, and a commitment to publish test results received within this period so that progress could be tracked. 

The letters note that the Prime Minister had previously said such a target had been set and had given an undertaking that tests would be processed within 24 hours by the end of June, except for difficulties with postal tests. Baroness Harding, Executive Chair of the Test and Trace programme, was unable to provide an answer on the number of test results returned within this period when she appeared before the Committee nor in a follow up reply. 

Chair's comments 

Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee said: 

“Test and Trace needs rapid turnaround of test results to be effective so I am concerned that I have still not had a reply to my earlier letter to the Prime Minister asking for data on 24 hour test turnaround.  

“Today I have written again asking him to confirm that we are on track to meet his 24 hour turnaround target by the end of June. 

“I am also asking for a commitment from the Government to publish a daily breakdown of the number of results returned within 24 hours to increase public confidence in the system.” 

Further information

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