From 18th May in the UK, patients, health and social care staff, and the public could arrange their own COVID-19 tests directly through government phone line or website in the absence of proper clinical input and oversight. This is despite the Royal College of Pathologists highlighting how problems with testing arise because of lack of clinical input, and emphasising how people being tested need to be informed about why they are being tested and the meaning of their results.1 In late summer 2020, multiple media outlets reported demand for tests (predominantly in England) as exceeding the capacity of the system, leaving many unable to access testing. However, this is not the only concern regarding the current UK testing system. These relate to contractual arrangements, lack of clinical integration and use of results. A new strategy is required, with clinical input, clinical oversight and integration into local primary care and public health systems.
- General Medicine