Britain's coronavirus response has not achieved a good outcome, the government's chief scientist has admitted.

Sir Patrick Vallance told a committee of MPs he was sure that mistakes had been made.

"It's very difficult to know exactly where we stand at the moment.

"It's clear that the outcome has not been good in the UK, I think we can be absolutely clear about that," Patrick Vallance told lawmakers, adding that some countries had done worse.

"There will be things, decisions made, that will turn out not to have been the right decisions at the time, I'm sure about that as well," he added.

Sir Patrick accepted it would have been "preferable" to have had more testing at an earlier stage in the pandemic, but he said testing was not the only factor.

He also said 'data systems' needed to be in place to ensure authorities had enough information to fight the virus.

He said: "It would have been absolutely preferable to have had much greater testing capacity earlier on, but it’s not just testing, it’s basic information flows around patients in hospital, rates of admission, rates of movement."

He emphasised the SAGE advisory body were not policymakers.

But asked about the sluggish response to the epidemic within care homes, he accepted the body had given advice to the government on protecting care homes in February.

He wouldn't say whether the government had gone specifically against SAGE advice on any decisions.

But he said: “In general, what I can be absolutely clear about is that those making policy decisions have heard and understood the scientific advice.

“Clearly as the pandemic progresses and indeed as we get into release measures from lockdown there are many other considerations that need to be taken into account as well as the science.”

“What we’re doing is laying out the scientific reasons behind options from which people can choose and overlaying that with economic and other considerations is the job of government.”