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Laboratories: Coronavirus

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 100696, tabled on 10 January 2022

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.

Answered on

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.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.