Key workers need a fit-for-purpose testing system immediately, says UNISON

Testing crucial to ensure workers aren’t isolating unnecessarily

Commenting on shortages in coronavirus tests for key workers and changes to who will be given priority announced by the health secretary today (Tuesday), UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:

“The country has been promised so much on testing. But six months into the pandemic, the government has failed woefully to get to grips with the problems.

“School support staff, health employees and other key public sector workers can’t get tests to find out whether it’s safe to go to work. So, they and their families must stop at home.

“With infection rates rising, people need to feel confident there’s a proper, functioning system in place. This frankly feels a long way off.

“A squeeze on capacity when schools reopened was entirely predictable, but the government still wasn’t ready. It beggars belief that ministers aren’t even able to prepare for the expected.”

Notes to editors
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

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