But nursing unions warned their members were already overstretched.
Dr Crystal Oldman from the Queens Nursing Institute told Sky News: “Clearly we are working in unprecedented circumstances to contain the spread of the virus and to treat those who have the disease as speedily as possible.
“It makes sense for people to be tested in their own homes rather than taking ambulances out of use while being deep cleaned.
“However, we need to assess who is the right clinician to undertake the screening test and where any additional capacity can be created to allow the time to undertake the home visits.
“Consideration should be given to employing nurses to specifically undertake this work, as the district nursing service is under tremendous pressure to deliver urgent care for their patients every day.
” General practice nurses Similarly will have full clinics from which they cannot be released without an impact on the people they are caring for. “
Meanwhile in Scotland the new coronavirus has been made a” notifiable disease “, meaning medics must alert health boards if they suspect a patient is infected.
Public health regulations were amended to place COVID – on the list of notifiable diseases north of the border . The list also includes cholera, rabies, measles and tuberculosis.
Scotland’s chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood has written. to NHS boards, medical practitioners and directors of diagnostic laboratories to make them aware of the changes.
The virus became a notifiable disease in Ireland on Thursday.
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