NICOLA Sturgeon has held talks with Matt Hancock over the backlog in Covid-19 testing and is hopeful it will improve in the coming days to give Scotland “fair access” to the systems.

The First Minister has stressed that testing pressures south of the border are contributing to a backlog of testing capacity in Scotland.

She has spoken to the UK Health Secretary about the situation and asked for reassurance that Scotland will “continue to get fair access” to testing – with the situation also leading to people being forced to wait longer to receive test results.

Yesterday, Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish Government had "managed to resist a move" by the UK Government to limit access to testing slots due to a demand issue.

Speaking at her daily media briefing today, Ms Sturgeon said: “I have a concern about the capacity constraints right now with the UK-wide system and for Scotland in recent days.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon raises 'serious concerns' over UK-wide backlog of test results

“This has not been an issue of access to testing slots at regional testing centres or mobile testing units but instead it has been one of access to sufficient Lighthouse laboratory processing and it is this that has led to a backlog in the system and longer turnaround times for tests than we want to be the case.”

She added: “As this is a UK-wide system we are not able to resolve this on our own and the issues are impacted by demand elsewhere in the UK.

“To that end last night I had a constructive conference call with Matt Hancock, the UK Health Secretary, and Dido Harding, head of the UK testing system, to seek assurances that Scotland will continue to get fair access to the UK-wide laboratory capacity and discuss how we can resolve these issues.

“So I hope to see improvement over the next few days but of course I will continue to provide updates.”

The First Minister was unable to put a number on the number of tests or potential tests caught up in the backlog in the “changing picture” – which is impacting the testing of care home workers.

She added: “A share a concern that turnarounds for tests are longer than what we want them to be.

“Our care home testing goes through that UK-wide scheme. Some health boards are looking at taking that into the NHS labs to free up capacity and to obviously put them more in control of turnaround times.

“Yesterday, there were around 12,000 tests processed through the UK system for Scotland.

“Overall we don’t have an issue with people seeking testing slots and not getting those slots. The issue here is a slower than desirable processing through the laboratory and that’s what we are working on.”