Examining the unmet clinical needs for COVID-19 testing
Working with collaborators across the CONDOR partnership we have analysed the views of health and social care professionals and policy makers on COVID-19 tests.
There has been a concerted effort by the life science industry to develop innovative tests to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19. Some tests can only be analysed in large laboratory facilities by skilled staff. Newer tests have the potential to be simple and more user friendly producing much quicker results. However more research is needed to match the most appropriate test to the clinical setting where it can have the best impact on improving patients’ lives.
As part of the CONDOR (COVID-19 National Diagnostic Research and Evaluation Platform) national partnership, we designed and delivered a survey for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). We collected 447 UK wide health and social care professionals’ views on COVID-19 testing. Individuals from these different sectors were asked about current COVID-19 diagnostic testing availability and issues in their working environments.
The survey demonstrated that COVID-19 testing is being undertaken in a variety of priority settings while also highlighting areas that need the most urgent attention.
Settings with the greatest perceived unmet clinical need for COVID-19 diagnostic tests were hospitals and care homes.
Across all settings, the most serious perceived problem with testing was the long turnaround time for results.
The potential spread of infection was considered the greatest consequence associated with the lack of testing.
- Interim reports were shared with the DHSC and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
- The Deputy Chief Scientific Officer from NHS England provided positive feedback on our report.
- Our findings are informing decisions around UK national testing policies.
To read the full published article visit this link.