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New plans to get more critical workers tested for coronavirus so they can return to work more quickly have been announced by Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, today.

First published:
19 April 2020
Last updated:

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Technology solutions, military planning support and removing the cap on social worker referrals will speed up the system to ensure more critical workers are tested daily in Wales.

These are all recommendations of a review ordered by the Health Minister following concerns that not enough tests were being carried out under the current system.

Mr Gething said:

“We are increasing our capacity for testing in Wales through our community testing units, the introduction of regional drive-in testing centres and, within weeks, an online home testing service.

“As the daily number of tests have not been matching the capacity we’ve built up in Wales, I ordered a rapid review of the current system.

“The review has produced a number of recommendations to speed up the process of referring key workers for testing. I have accepted all of these to be implemented immediately.

“Today I have also published our critical worker testing policy outlining which workers will be tested and how.

“I want to see a rapid increase in testing of critical workers across Wales so they can return to work more quickly and have the confidence to carry out their work safely. Their contribution to stop the spread of coronavirus and keeping us all safe is invaluable.”

The recommendations, approved by the Minister, include:

  • Work to provide a web-based booking platform to remove the bureaucracy.
  • Removing of the ceiling on referrals of social workers per local authority.
  • Welsh Government will work with Local Authorities and Local Resilience Forum to review and revise the referral process for testing critical workers.
  • Military to look at operational processes to speed up the system and make it more efficient.

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