THE UK Government stopped Holyrood ministers from seeing vital data collected at rapid coronavirus testing sites across Scotland, it has emerged.

The centres, used for testing key workers and hospital staff and set up by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in early April, had been operational for weeks before Scottish and Welsh minister were granted access to the results, according to the Guardian.

Sites had been opened at Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness airports in Scotland and Cardiff City’s football stadium in Wales.

Until late last month, the DHSC, which contracted accountancy firm Deloitte to run the scheme, opted to provide results to individual patients. Under the department’s data disclosure rules, that meant the results could not be given to the Scottish and Welsh governments.

The move also prevented the figures from those sites being included in Holyrood and Senedd coronavirus updates, or the governments' crisis planning.

The Scottish Government said that the figures provided by the DHSC are still not included in the First Minsiter’s daily briefings because they need to be studied for accuracy. The data is expected to be published early this month, a month after rapid testing sites first opened.

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The Glasgow and Cardiff sites were up and running for almost three weeks before the devolved administrations were given access to the data. Until then, they were merely informed how many tests had been completed each day, but not the results of those tests.

Speaking on April 16 as the Edinburgh Airport test site opened, UK Government Health Minister Lord Bethell, heralded it as a “national effort to boost testing capacity for coronavirus to protect the vulnerable, support our NHS, and ultimately save lives”.

The UK, Welsh and Scottish governments told the Guardian they finally settled the data dispute in late April.

Hoylrood officials told the newspaper that they have been providing Westminster with comprehensive data from all testing programmes since March.

The Scottish Government added that knowing how many key workers were positive was “essential in order to report meaningfully on the testing conducted at these facilities”.

A Welsh government spokesman commented: “We identified issues around the storage of data from testing centres at the outset and worked with UK government and Deloitte to ensure data was retained by NHS Wales.”

A DHSC spokesman said: “We have made clear from the outset we would be happy to provide this data to NHS National Services Scotland and have now done so after being provided with the necessary legal and technical assurances from Scotland.

“A new digital system has now been built which will allow the fast flowing of this data to the relevant public health authorities, including in Scotland, going forwards.”