Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the reportedly high number of cases of covid-19 in Barrow-in-Furness and South Lakes.
Variation in the number of COVID-19 cases is caused by a number of factors including demography, behaviour and rate of testing. The rate of testing in the area has been high due to an early and proactive approach to testing taken by the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay (UHMB) NHS Foundation Trust, which manages Furness General Hospital, the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and the Westmorland General in Kendal in South Lakeland.
The Trust commenced swabbing of employees and household members who were symptomatic of coronavirus at the end of February 2020. Testing has included UHMB NHS Foundation Trust employees and household members, hospital inpatients, care home residents and staff, and key workers from other organisations and their households.