Winter pressures

Helping fight winter infections using diagnostics

The more widespread use of diagnostic tests during the winter season can not only help relieve winter pressures within the NHS, but also assist in the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR).1

During the winter the NHS is under even more pressure than usual. In addition to their daily workload, seasonal conditions significantly increase the number of people seeking medical assistance. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this has increased even further. But the critical importance of both pathology and diagnostics in addressing the crisis has been more widely recognised.

Diagnostics have played a vital role in supporting the economy to recover following COVID-19, and they will remain crucial to the UK’s recovery for the foreseeable future, especially during the winter.

During the winter of 2017/2018:

·    400,000 more people called NHS 111

·    290,000 more people attended A&E departments 

·    100,000 more people were admitted to hospital as an emergency2

Roche Diagnostics has patients and our partners in healthcare delivery at the heart of everything that we do. This is why we have developed a suite of tests for use with seasonal conditions, which can help to relieve the pressure on the NHS during this acute period.

The aim of all of these tests is to ensure patients receive an accurate diagnosis to enable the right treatment to be administered at the right time.

These tests can also help alleviate the pressures on the NHS from seasonal conditions by enabling quick and confident discharge of patients who do not need specialist care.

These tests play a key role in the fight against antimicrobial resistance by helping to ensure only those who need them are prescribed antibiotics. 

Winter pressures in the time of COVID-19

Winter pressures are always difficult for the NHS; during the COVID-19 pandemic, the pressures are even greater. We have a suite of diagnostics tests designed to help determine whether a patient has COVID-19, flu, or neither, to enable easier triage and quarantine of patients.

These new tests are particularly important as SARS-CoV-2 and influenza infections can hardly be differentiated by symptoms alone. Now, with a single test, healthcare professionals can confidently provide the right diagnosis and most effective treatment plan for their patients.


  1. Carey-Ann D. Burnham, Jennifer Leeds, Patrice Nordmann, Justin O'Grady & Jean Patel Diagnosing antimicrobial resistance Nature Reviews Microbiology volume 15, pages 697–703 (2017)