Labour has called on the government to expand the current coronavirus testing of NHS and social care staff, extending it beyond those with symptoms to all being tested once a week.
The intervention follows research by University College London Hospitals that suggests a fifth of infections among hospital patients and almost nine in ten among healthcare workers may have been caught in hospital.
The party has highlighted that the government had announced in early April that it would introduce regular testing for all “critical key workers” but a universal process for health and care workers is still yet to be implemented.
Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “Regular testing of all NHS staff must now be an urgent priority. Weekly testing of all healthcare workers reduces the spread of the virus and helps protect NHS staff and patients.
“Eventually resetting the NHS to continue treating Covid and non-Covid patients is going to have to take priority. This should include putting in place infection control measures to make sure patients can continue to safely receive their care, and routine testing of all staff should be a part of this.”