To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many staff working in the national laboratory network, including (a) NHS, (b) UKHSA, (c) Lighthouse laboratories and (d) Mobile Processing Units, were absent on 7 January 2022, as a result of self-isolation following a positive covid-19 test; and whether he has made an assessment of the effect of staff absence at those facilities on PCR processing capacity.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
21 March 2022
On 7 January 2022, there were estimated to be 144 staff across the Lighthouse Laboratory network absent due to COVID-19 isolation. Data on absences in the UK Health Security Agency’s laboratories are included in this network. Information on the number of staff that were absent from National Health Service laboratories and Mobile Processing Units could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. No assessment has been made of the impact of these absences.