Wales to receive 5,000 daily Covid tests before UK Gov stepped in – Public Health Wales Chief Exec

Public Heath Wales Chief Executive Tracey Cooper speaking before the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee today

Wales was due to receive 5,000 coronavirus tests a day from a company before the UK Government stepped in, the Chief Executive of Public Health Wales said today.

Questioned by Ynys Môn Member of the Senedd Rhun ap Iorwerth, she confirmed that the Welsh Government had an understanding with the company before the tests were “brought into the UK allocation”.

Plaid Cymru said that the UK Government had “gazumped” the Welsh Government, but the Welsh Conservatives pointed out that no deal had been signed.

Speaking before the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee today, Public Health Wales Chief Executive Tracey Cooper said they had “discussion with the company early on in the process to look at securing daily tests”.

“We were in the discussions with Roche and that was the understanding that we had, through discussion and email correspondence,” she said.

“And that was in advance of it then being then brought into the UK allocation, which has happened with a couple of companies.”

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS asked: “So in a way Welsh Government had done well to get discussions going early with Roche, they said they could deliver 5,000, then the UK Government stepped in and we lost that 5,000?”

“Yeah. And I think what the UK Government, the allocation at that time, was a full 5,000 for the UK,” Tracey Cooper replied. “So it’s challenging for ourselves, challenging for the UK, but the allocation we’re getting now is more than on a relative population basis.”

“But less than we thought we were getting at one stage?” Mr ap Iorwerth asked.

“Yes, yes.”

“A lot of people will find that shocking and I’m glad that we’ve had that confirmed.”

Tracey Cooper confirmed that Wales eventually received 900 tests from that allocation.

‘Dialogue’

Welsh Conservative Member of the Senedd Andrew RT Davies however said that the discussions with Roche did not amount to any kind of deal.

“The First Minister claimed the Welsh Government had a deal with Roche for testing but they have no information or evidence to show that was the case – indeed they don’t hold anything of that nature,” he said.

“Apparently Public Health Wales were in ‘dialogue’ with the company. Quite a difference.”

By the end of April, Welsh Government had promised 5,000 tests per day, rising to 9,000 by mid-May.

Yet Wales still has days where only 900 tests a day are carried out – well below the 9,000 target set out by the Welsh Government.

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John Ellis
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John Ellis

Not entirely surprising if Roche should have favoured the bigger customer, if the UK government expressed its interest prior to any contract being signed between Roche and Wales. The UK’s would be by some way the bigger order, and Roche are in business to maximize their sales.

Michael McGrane
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Michael McGrane

At last. Why wouldn’t Mark Drakeford confirm this previously one wonders. Andrew RT Davies must fully aware that purchases of tests are normally negotiated by bodies like Public Health Wales and Health Authorities so he’s being disingenuous, as dialogue leading to purchases was ongoing – he’s trying to paint Westminster in a better light than Cardiff Bay. The trouble is both the Labour and Conservatives are still taking their lead form London, they are hardly acting in Cymru/Wales best interests, if they ever did.

K.K
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K.K

He doesn’t exist to serve us but only to please his masters.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

My impression’s always been that Mr D. was the Labour membership’s choice for leader primarily because they knew he was the most Corbynist of the slate of alternatives.

Ted
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Ted

He is being a typical slimy tory putting his party masters first

Peter
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Peter

Sadly, a typical example of the ineptitude so evident in Wales – there’s no commitment from either party if I look in a shop window at a suit; I have to go inside, place and order and make a commitment to pay before there is a contract. Of course, if there is a contract, the aggrieved party can sue for non-performance, but no hint the PHW has any grounds for doing so.

Roger
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Roger

Ineptitude in Wales? Fair enough but there is greater ineptitude at Westminster with mediocre Amateurs who are only in their jobs because they are Brexit supporters. So inept they have been banned from talking to Piers Morgan

Jason Evans
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Jason Evans

Hang now for all those who are saying a deal wasn’t struck or that if you window shopping doesn’t mean your buying wasn’t there a representative from Roche speaking on either BBC Wales or ITV Wales News alluding to the deal bring in place and then it all going to s#!t.
And as for RT Davies I think his words just show what kind of slippery, unscrupulous, disingenuous person he is

Tudor Rees
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Tudor Rees

Par for the course for a country in a semi-colonial situation!

Eifion
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Eifion

Popeth yn iawn felly Mr A.R.T.Davies bara I Lundain a’r briwsion I Lyn( a g Eifionydd ).

j humphrys
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j humphrys

Welsh Conservatives fawning support for the Brexiteer Regime, currently heading the European death table. Dogs!

max wallis
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max wallis

Don’t miss the privatisation agenda in blaming Drakeford and Gething- the Tory Government has outsourced the duty to keep us safe to Deloitte. They’ve just instructed NHS trusts to stop buying any of their own PPE, ventilators and many special items (total of 16 includes CT scanners, mobile X-ray machines and ultrasound scanners) https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/may/04/uk-government-using-crisis-to-transfer-nhs-duties-to-private-sector It appears the Welsh Govt has agreed to conform to this privatised central ordering, at least of Covid tests and ventilators – no wonder Drakeford is so uncomfortable. Remember Frank Atherton was unable to explain why he’d ignored Cardiff Uni’s Medical School offer to set up… Read more »

Plain citizen
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Plain citizen

I think we could learn a lot from the German, Swedish and Sourhern Indian (and I’m sure other) decentralised systems. Public Health England and PH Wales wanted a centralised system and we’ve seen with testing and PPE what a mess has become of it. When decentralised the local authorities place orders with who they like to get the job done. If they cock it up publicity exposes them and the votees make sure they pay. If you let Public Health Wales cock it up they can hide behind that august and expert body. Why ‘Mike’ Drakeford hasn’t exposed this business… Read more »

Plain citizen
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Plain citizen

Voters.

Steve Duggan
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Steve Duggan

Whoever is to blame the fact remains – the Welsh Government has its limitations and the only way to address that is through Self-Determination. Tomorrow is Europe Day – Europeans will be celebrating 70 years since the ‘Schuman declaration’ – setting out peace in Europe. Cyrmu needs to be independent and part of that peace and prosperity – within the EU – before we are screwed and neglected further.