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Surgeons welcome more rapid COVID-19 tests to be rolled out across England

10 Nov 2020

Following the government’s announcement that more rapid COVID-19 tests are to be rolled out across England, Professor Neil Mortensen, President at the Royal College of Surgeons of England said: 

“With rising numbers of coronavirus cases across the UK, the expansion of staff testing is very timely. In evidence we gave to Parliament’s Health and Social Care Committee in June we recommended that staff should be tested up to twice a week.   Regular testing of staff who do not show symptoms is essential, because over 80% of people with COVID may not show typical symptoms at the time they test positive for the virus1. Additionally, not all tests are 100% reliable, so repeated testing of staff is essential.

“Surgical teams are working incredibly hard to keep surgery going, as winter pressures and cases of COVID increase. So it is great news that NHS England has managed to turbo-charge the government’s testing capacity. This will help to keep staff and patients better protected through the coming months.”

Notes to editors


2. Evidence to Health and Social Care Committee  -

3. The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.

4. For more information, please contact the RCS Press Office: telephone: 0207 869 6047/6052; or email:  For out-of-hours media enquiries, please telephone: 0207 869 6056.



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