The “budget cap” on coronavirus tests means that NHS hospitals in England face having to pay for them from their own budgets unless approved. The maximum is placed on the amount of money available for testing for patients and staff, according to information sent to trust funds.
The guidelines, first reported by The Independent, make clear that NHS providers will need formal approval from the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the testing and tracking service or they will not be able to claim cost recovery, which will be funded on a “real value basis” and have a “budget ceiling” “.
The document was reportedly sent out Friday, the next day to inform NHS Head of Test and Tracking, Dido Harding, to MPs that the request is up to four times the testing capacity.
But the public’s confidence in testing and tracking has already been undermined and anything that leads to further delays for staff and patients will undoubtedly spark more, said Niall Dickson, chief executive of NHS Consortium. Of fears. “
NHS England’s guidelines, which confirmed they are accurate, said, “The testing is now being overseen by DHSC’s NHS Testing and Tracking Service, and the NHS for Covid-19 testing services will be funded by the government on the basis of actual values set. This means that for a clear set of results. There is a budget cap, with funding up to this maximum for the actual costs incurred by NHS providers.
“NHS providers who are not authorized to provide the service should not conduct testing without formal approval and will not be able to access funding to reimburse the costs incurred in conducting testing that is not accredited by the DHSC NHS Test and Tracking Service.”
The government continues to be under fire for the NHS Test and Trace system, with experts warning that without effective testing and tracking it will be extremely difficult to control the spread of the virus and identify larger outbreaks.
Well-designed testing systems and resources have the potential to reduce the Covid-19 (R number) reproduction rate by up to 26%, according to a study by Imperial College.
A spokeswoman for DHSC said: “NHS lab capacity is already being used to test hospital staff and patients and significant funding has been set aside to ensure that those who need testing receive them.
Since the start of this pandemic, we have prioritized testing for health and care workers with hospital personnel able to access testing with their confidence. We are working to increase capacity and Health and Welfare Secretary Matt Hancock has already emphasized that the top priority for testing is acute clinical care. ”