Simon Bryant, director of public health for the Isle of Wight Council, has accepted that Islanders who have had ‘unclear’ Covid-19 test results, or have had to wait up to two weeks for their result, have had their ‘confidence undermined’ by the saga.
Mr Bryant also admitted that lessons had been learned, some of them ‘painful ones’ The saga began two weeks ago when many Islanders who had already received their result, or were still awaiting the outcome of their test. received texts and emails stating their test was ‘unclear’ and suggesting they should take a new test.
Ironically, many who had initially received a ‘negative’ result up to two weeks earlier, also received notice that their result was now ‘unclear’. Having pushed for an answer from a number of people about the discrepancies, including Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely and IW Council leader Dave Stewart, the IW Observer has now received this explanation.
Mr. Bryant, on behalf of the National Centre, said “It is the case that we experienced some temporary operational issues in our laboratory network and that had a short-term impact on both the turnaround time for samples and the proportion that returned a ‘void’ result.
“These temporary issues have now been resolved and we are now delivering 93 per cent of test results within 48 hours of samples being taken. Currently only 3.5 per cent of samples are voided, and those affected are asked to book a re-test.
“I agree that issues such as these can potentially undermine confidence. This is a rapidly evolving programme in which we are learning a lot of lessons along the way, and some of them are painful ones. We are doing everything we can to avoid a repeat.”