SNP Health Minister admits she does not know when Scottish NHS staff will be regularly tested

In another astonishing admission, she said she said care home testing was “not happening consistently, in a planned way, across the country.”

With only 3,944 tests being conducted on Saturday, despite daily capacity being 15,500, she said this was partly why she wrote to NHS boards last week demanding they step up their efforts.

She demanded they send her new detailed plans for ramping up testing and warned those who fail to deliver will be named and shamed. Ms Freeman said: “Not all of them have moved as fast enough as I need them to.”

But Jackson Carlaw, the Scottish Tory leader, said Ms Freeman had been unable to provide even “basic information” after SNP ministers promised to “dramatically increase” testing weeks ago.

He said: “The SNP abandoned care homes to be ravaged by Covid, they appear to have done the same thing to hospitals also.

“Jeane Freeman’s excuses keep getting thinner meanwhile thousands of tests are unused each day.” He said Nicola Sturgeon was also responsible for these “catastrophic failures.”

Monica Lennon, Scottish Labour’s health spokesman, said testing capacity must be used if NHS services are to be reintroduced safely.

Ms Freeman told BBC Scotland’s Sunday Politics programme she hoped to learn by the end of this month how many had caught the virus after being admitted to wards.

But, pressed if all hospital staff in hospitals were being tested regularly, she said: “No, not yet”. She said this was part of the work underway to “safely restart parts of the NHS.”

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