Private labs unable to process all Covid tests, NHS email reveals

Exclusive: Lighthouse labs sought help from NHS England to analyse community swabs

Laboratories that analyse swabs from people in the community, including care homes, were stretched to capacity even in late August, unable to process all the Covid test samples coming in and seeking help from the NHS, the Guardian can reveal.

On 24 August, all NHS labs, which process hospital Covid tests, were sent an email from NHS England “regarding the urgent call for support from the pillar 2 team” – the Lighthouse labs analysing the community swabs.

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