Dear Public Health England,

What cycle rate has the uk been using for the pcr tests?

If you don't know, why don't you know?

Did the uk take the WHOs advice and lower the pcr cycle rate?

If you didn't lower it, why didn't you?

Do you plan too lower it in the future and pretend its the vaccination program thats causing the drop in covid19?

Will you tell the public if you lower the pce cycle rate?

If not why not?

Yours faithfully,

Adrian McErlean

FOI, Public Health England

OFFICIAL

Dear Adrian McErlean,

We acknowledge receipt of your email and request for information, which will be treated as a request for information under statutory access legislation.

Please note that requests under the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs) will receive a response within 20 working days from the day following the date of receipt of your request.

If the request is for your personal data, your request has been handled as a data subject access request (SAR) under Article 15 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), then we will respond within one month of the receipt of the request.

Public Health England (PHE) is responsible for providing guidance and advice to government and front-line services for all aspects of public health. It is a designated Category 1 responder organisation under the Civil Contingency Act and this specifically includes the COVID-19 response, providing clinical expertise and wider public health advice and guidance across national and local government, the NHS and third sector. As such, you may experience delays when making statutory information access requests during the pandemic.

We will aim to address all requests promptly and within the required response timeframes. However when we are unable to meet the response timeframe we will keep requesters updated on a revised expected timescale for a response to their request. The Information Commissioner recognises this position in its recent guidance, see link: https://ico.org.uk/global/data-protectio...

Public Accountability Unit
Public Health England
[Public Health England request email]
Tel: 020 8327 6920
www.gov.uk/phe Follow us on Twitter @PHE UK

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FOI, Public Health England

OFFICIAL
Dear Adrian McErlean,

Thank you for your email to Public Health England (PHE), PHE can confirm that it does not hold the information as specified in your request.

Under Section 16 of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, public authorities have a duty to provide advice and assistance, please see the below information and guidance that explain PCR testing and cycle threshold.

There over 80 different commercial PCR tests and several platforms used in the UK - each comes with its own standardised interpretation - some may provide Ct values some may not. All labs are asked to perform preliminary checks on the limits of detection and create a standard operating procedure based on guidance above to interpret a positive or negative result.

The below document provides guidance for procedures to be implemented in laboratories to provide assurance of positive SARS-CoV-2 RNA results during periods of low prevalence, when there is a reduction in the predictive value of positive test results.

This guidance is applicable to all laboratories to help guide the interpretation of positive results. The document provides background information, explains the problem and details actions that should be considered by all laboratories providing SARS-CoV-2 RNA testing.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

There is an extensive menu of tests currently used to detect SARS-CoV-2 in a sample. Whilst most of these tests are PCR based, there are also assays that use alternative technology for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid.
Currently there are over 80 different testing platforms in use across the various networks of laboratories and the thresholds for result interpretation will be configured in each case by the manufacturers of the assays and the instrumentation.

Each laboratory will regularly assess the performance of their assays within their local quality management system. The results are monitored in accordance with defined quality control procedures. Whilst each laboratory has a statutory duty to report positive cases to Public Health England, additional information such as Ct values in the case of PCR tests, is not submitted.

Understanding cycle threshold (Ct) in SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR - may be a document that you find useful. Please see the link below:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk...

Yours sincerley,

FOI Team
Public Accountability Unit
Public Health England
[Public Health England request email]
Tel: 020 8327 6920
www.gov.uk/phe Follow us on Twitter @PHE uk

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