Maximum budget for hospital COVID-19 testing confirmed by DHSC
Hospitals will have a capped amount of daily testing at 100,000 per day, Government has confirmed. The DHSC has advised that the maximum budget being put in place from the 1st October for NHS testing will allow for 100,000 tests per day. NHS hospitals have been instructed by NHS England not to launch their own testing of staff and patients unless they have prior approval from the Test and Trace programme, led by Baroness Dido Harding. This comes as Government pushes forward with its objective of doing 500,000 tests per day by the end of October. The DHSC insisted there was money available for hospitals to expand testing with current capacity in the NHS at around 55,000 tests a day.
Hospitals will need to follow NHS guidance and be approved by the Test and Trace service to initiate testing services. This guidance must therefore be followed by all NHS labs seeking to add COVID-19 testing to their existing diagnostics and pathology networks. Previously hospitals were able to retrospectively claim back costs for testing and other expenses from responding to Covid-19. A spokesperson for the DHSC said: “There is significant funding for NHS labs to increase capacity and there are tests available for NHS staff and patients who need them.”