PATIENTS who came up negative during botched Covid-19 tests at Musgrove Park Hospital have been given the all-clear.

Up to 147 people may have been incorrectly told they had coronavirus due to a faulty machine.

The error led to swabs wrongly coming back positive, leading to a sharp rise in figures indicating how many people had contracted the virus.

A number of the swabs were retested and showed there had been an unspecified number of 'false positives'.

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Musgrove, has contacted affected patients to apologise and offer them a retest.

The bogus results were from a fast track machine between May 27 and June 4.

A spokesman has now put negative-result patients' minds at rest.

He said: "We have tested the machine in excess of the current professional standards and we have not had false negative test results."