Unmet clinical needs for COVID-19 tests in UK health and social care settings
Graziadio S., Urwin SG., Cocco P., Micocci M., Winter A., Yang Y., Ashley Price D., Messenger M., Joy Allen A., Shinkins B.
There is an urgent requirement to identify which clinical settings are in most need of COVID-19 tests and the priority role(s) for tests in these settings to accelerate the development of tests fit for purpose in health and social care across the UK. This study sought to identify and prioritize unmet clinical needs for COVID-19 tests across different settings within the UK health and social care sector via an online survey of health and social care professionals and policymakers. Four hundred and forty-seven responses were received between 22nd May and 15th June 2020. Hospitals and care homes were recognized as the settings with the greatest unmet clinical need for COVID-19 diagnostics, despite reporting more access to laboratory molecular testing than other settings. Hospital staff identified a need for diagnostic tests for symptomatic workers and patients. In contrast, care home staff expressed an urgency for screening at the front door to protect high-risk residents and limit transmission. The length of time to test result was considered a widespread problem with current testing across all settings. Rapid tests for staff were regarded as an area of need across general practice and dental settings alongside tests to limit antibiotics use.