RCoA welcomes COVID-19 testing for key workers and their households

Published: 24/04/2020

Professor Ravi Mahajan, President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists said:

“I would like to congratulate the Government for developing the ability for key workers and their households to be tested for COVID-19 if they are showing virus symptoms.

“For the combined 23,000 members of the Royal College of Anaesthetists who are right at the frontline of the NHS’ response to this pandemic, this is a welcome step forward to ensuring their safety and therefore the safety of their patients, their colleagues and their families.

“Findings of our recent all-member survey showed that 17% of anaesthetists are currently having to self-isolate because of suspected COVID-19. This figure rises to nearly a quarter (24.1%) when including confirmed cases. With nearly 40% of members having been unable to access the testing they need for themselves and over 50% said they don’t have the testing they need for their household members, today’s developments are indeed a welcome relief.

“The sooner anaesthetists can be tested, the sooner those who are negative can return to the frontline, treating their patients and supporting their colleagues. The Government’s pledge to ramp up testing capacity to 100,000 tests per day by the end of April is a vital next step in supporting our health and care staff.

“I am very pleased with the Government’s actions and I strongly urge all anaesthetists and intensive care staff across the NHS to work with their employers to ensure that if they or their family members show symptoms of the virus, they make use of the Government’s facilities to be tested for COVID-19.”