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.


Copyright © The Royal Society of Medicine 2020. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

Cite as

Harding-Edgar, L., McCartney, M. & Pollock, A. 2020, 'Test and trace strategy has overlooked importance of clinical input, clinical oversight and integration', Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 113(11), pp. 428-432. https://doi.org/10.1177/0141076820967906

Downloadable citations

Download HTML citationHTML Download BIB citationBIB Download RIS citationRIS
Last updated: 17 June 2022
Was this page helpful?