Oxford pharmacists were left with inconsistent supplies of lateral flow testing

Oxford pharmacies were left without Covid-19 testing due to inconsistent deliveries as the self-isolation period was cut and Boris Johnson urges revelers to take a test before New Years Eve.

Lateral flow tests, which return a quick Covid-19 result, can be picked up from pharmacies, some community centers and ordered for home delivery on Gov.uk.

Staff at some pharmacies in the city told The Oxford Mail they were left without supplies of lateral flow tests for “weeks” as the availability of the tests on the government website changed. hour by hour.

The inconsistency comes from Professor Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, backed the government’s decision not to impose new Covid restrictions until the New Year and called the public “responsible enough” .

Last week, the government announced that people could stop self-isolating after seven days if they got two negative results on the lateral flow test. On Wednesday, the Press Association reported that Mr Johnson said: “I think everyone should enjoy the New Years, but in a careful and reasonable way.

“Do a test, a ventilation, think of the others – but, most importantly, take a booster.”

Test availability was inconsistent on the Gov.uk website

A Boots staff member in Cornmarket explained that it was “possible” the problems were due to more people ordering tests, adding that the store has been out of stock for two to three weeks.

They said, “We haven’t had any today, our deliveries have been pretty hit and miss.”

A pharmacist at Barton Pharmacy in Headington said he had “no idea” when the tests were due and the store had “none since December 24”.

The two Jhoots on Walton Street, Jericho and The Roundway Pharmacy in Headington blamed the lack of stock on the companies delivering the tests.

A staff member at The Roundway said the tests had been “completely out of stock” for about a week and a half.

Readers also spoke about the inconsistency in testing supplies.

Speaking to Facebook, a number of readers said they had “no problem” ordering tests for home delivery, while others said they couldn’t get them online. or in pharmacies.

Verity Mills-Davies said there was an “out of stock” sign everywhere, while Emma Rowlands described “struggling” to pass a test.

She said: “None available online for delivery and when I received a collection code instead today the pharmacy did not have any in stock!”

Oxford Mail: A lateral flow test used.  Image: AP ImagesA lateral flow test used. Image: AP Images

Dr Leyla Hannbeck, Executive Director of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, the lack of constant supplies puts pharmacists in a difficult position.

Dr Hannbeck said: “On the one hand, the government is asking us to follow the guidelines and on the other hand, there is not enough supply for everyone.”

A spokesperson for Roche, which manufactures Covid-19 tests, said demand for Oxford Mail had “risen sharply” recently, but the company responded “immediately” and “continues to ramp up production so that current demand can be met “.

A Boots spokesperson said: ‘Boots are providing access to the COVID-19 Lateral Flow Device test kits on behalf of the NHS.

“We are able to order more stock from the NHS each day so we are restocking regularly, but due to high demand during the holiday season some stores will be sold out before the end of the day.

“The NHS website shows the nearest pharmacy offering lateral flow testing at your location. ”

The Oxford Mail has contacted the NHS and the UK Health Security Agency for comment.

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