Responding to the news that antibody testing will be given to health and care staff as a priority, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:
“This could be a game changer – and it is great that we now have a reliable antibody test.
“As the government acknowledges of course there are still unknowns. We don’t yet know whether antibodies mean you are immune, and if so, for how long. We also need to know whether those with antibodies can still transmit the virus.
“But this will make a real difference, in understanding how and to whom the virus has spread and because it will help us to answer these pressing questions.
“We very much welcome the decision to give health and care staff priority and to work with local leaders on how this is done, As with antigen testing, we need a clear plan for how these tests will be distributed and assurance that there will be no obstacles to staff accessing them.”