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Covid: Wokingham council set to pay £120k for private tests

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A council is planning to spend up to £120,000 on private covid tests.

Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) will vote whether to pay the sum to a private company to provide 1,000 tests for key workers.

Charles Margetts, lead councillor for health, said he was unaware of any other councils that were paying for private tests.

It comes as the head of NHS Test and Trace said demand was "significantly outstripping the capacity".

image captionOn Thursday the head of NHS Test and Trace Baroness Harding said demand for Covid-19 testing was "outstripping" capacity

Mr Margetts said the tests would be reserved for key workers such as social workers and teachers who were struggling to get a test under the NHS testing system.

He said: "We're not going to give this out to everybody, but if we have a situation where our key workers are getting told to go to Wales or Norwich for testing [then we will].

"If NHS Test and Trace can not provide an adequate enough service, we'll step in and offer the test to our key workers."

The tests would be bought from a company supplying football clubs and starting to supply the NHS, he said.

The Local Government Association has been contacted for comment.

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