Coronavirus: NHS staff samples sent to Germany for testing

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image captionA hospital spokeswoman said its partnership with Eurofins "was not prompted by the Covid-19 outbreak"

Hundreds of staff samples have been sent abroad to be tested for coronavirus, a hospital has confirmed.

Northampton Hospital said samples from its staff and those at Kettering had been dispatched to the Eurofins Lab in Germany.

The hospital said it had a long-standing partnership with Eurofins, which has "lots of capacity" to "ease pressure on British facilities".

It comes amid criticism of the government's testing programme.

There has been growing pressure from frontline NHS staff for the government to make more swab tests available to medics and their families so key staff who are healthy but currently in self-isolation can return to work.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted there was "a huge amount of work to do" to meet the target 100,000 coronavirus tests a day in the UK.

A hospital spokeswoman said its partnership with Eurofins "was not prompted by the Covid-19 outbreak".

"Staff samples were sent to the Eurofins Lab in Germany," she said.

"It made sense as they currently have lots of capacity and it would ease pressure on British facilities."

On Thursday, The Sun newspaper reported testing facilities in Germany were being used as results came back faster.

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