NHS Health Minister Helen Whately has admitted NHS staff who have been tested for coronavirus have been told their initial test results could be inaccurate.
Whately told Sky News those healthcare workers are now being offered a different coronavirus test as the original one was “not up to scratch.”
A leaked document revealed that thousands of tests were found to be flawed, the Daily Telegraph reported.
A Public Health England (PHE) memo warns of “degraded” performance, therefore the tests are less reliable, the Telegraph reported on Wednesday.
Whately was asked of the report and told Sky News, “My understanding from the clinical advisers is some of the early tests were evaluated and the evaluation was actually they weren’t effective enough.
“This is a normal process when you are using a test for an illness, which as we know is a new illness and we’re learning all the time.
“Those who were tested with the test that we think is not up to scratch have been written to, to let them know and they will be offered another test.”
She added, “In general we know that the guidance has been to people that, if you have symptoms, to make sure that you are isolating.
“We have to make sure we look at the reliability of tests.
“And this has been, also, the whole debate around the testing of people who don’t have symptoms, for instance.
“One reason why the testing is focused on people who do have symptoms is because we know the testing is most accurate when you have symptoms.
“This is really, really important not just to test but to make sure we are testing people effectively.
“You need to make sure that it’s giving you an accurate result on which decisions can then be made.”
Doctors have warned on Monday that they could refuse to treat coronavirus patients to protect their own lives as hospitals are set to run out of PPE today.
A scientist has claimed that UK has “clearly passed the peak” as hospital coronavirus deaths has fallen during the “first wave” of the pandemic.
Oxford University’s Professor James Naismith, director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute research centre as the UK recorded 449 deaths on Monday.