NHS Test and Trace Debate

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NHS Test and Trace

Lord Scriven Excerpts
Monday 28th June 2021

(3 months, 3 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber

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Asked by

Lord Scriven Portrait Lord Scriven
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To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of the NHS Test and Trace system.

Baroness Penn Portrait Baroness Penn (Con)
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My Lords, NHS Test and Trace currently provides 6.5 million virus tests each week, with more than 80% of in-person test results received within 24 hours. It successfully traces 92% of positive cases and 90% of their identified contacts, with more than 80% of contacts reached within 48 hours of someone reporting symptoms. Test and trace is continuously improving the speed and reach of its services and further enhancing the role of local authorities in community testing and contact tracing.

Lord Scriven Portrait Lord Scriven (LD)
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My Lords, the Innova lateral flow test purchased by the Government without open competition at a cost of more than £3 billion was last week described by the US Food & Drug Administration as not proven; it said it should be thrown in the bin. Why do the Government still maintain that the Innova lateral flow test is effective, safe and offers value for money to the British taxpayer?

Baroness Penn Portrait Baroness Penn (Con)
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My Lords, the Innova test has gone through the rigorous Porton Down assessment process that the UK uses for coronavirus testing approved by the MHRA, the independent regulator for medicines and medical devices in the UK. I reassure the noble Lord that there is rigorous assurance work in the lab and in the field to ensure that Innova tests consistently perform to the required standard.