Coronavirus test lab to open in North Wales by end of month, says NHS Wales chief
A coronavirus test lab is set to opened in North Wales by the end of the month according to the head of NHS Wales.
It’s understood that around 500 health workers in the region have been tested for COVID-19.
However there are concerns that tests are currently being processed by laboratories in Cardiff, which involves samples being courier delivered between the two areas.
We believe that only around half of tests are being turned around in a day and 95% in two days.
Plans to create a North Wales lab have been hatched as a result.
The arrangement has been confirmed today by NHS Wales chief executive Andrew Goodall following a question we submitted to the daily Welsh Government press conference.
He said:“We’ve committed to having the budgetary arrangements in place in North Wales.
“You’ll appreciate that this is an area where very specialist equipment is required, but I understand subject to specialist equipment that is on order and expected during April, that we are expecting there to be a north Wales laboratory in place by the end of April, and we would expect the location to be in Rhyl.”
Mr Goodall started the conference by paying tributes to NHS workers who have sadly died from the coronavirus in the last week.
They include Andy Treble, a theatre assistant at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, who passed away yesterday.
He said: “I want to start today by acknowledging those members of the NHS family in Wales, who have sadly passed away from COVID-19 over this last week, and to pass on my thoughts and condolences to their families and friends.
“They have rightly received warm and personal tributes from their organisations, and our hearts go out to those that they leave behind.
“I’m grateful to all of our NHS staff for their service in these exceptional times and for putting patients first.
“For this reason, the protection and well being of our staff remains a key priority for us alongside the protection of our population.”
He also took the opportunity to encourage people who need urgent care for non-coronavirus related reasons to seek assistance.
It follows a significant drop in patients across Wales since the outbreak began.
He said: “I’m concerned that people may not be seeking medical help for illnesses and symptoms not related to COVID-19.
“While many services have been disrupted, we want to reinforce the message that urgent and emergency care services for physical and mental health are still open and accessible.
“For parents, if your child is unwell and you are concerned, you should seek help. If you have urgent dental pain, you should still call your dentist.
“If you have a health complaint that is worrying you and won’t go away, you should call your GP practice.
“And if you or a family member are seriously ill or injured, you should dial 999 or attend your nearest emergency department.
“Whilst many day to day activities are not taking place we recognise that some medical and care matters cannot wait.”
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