Complaints at testing delays

By Barrie Hudson - 14 September 2020

Health

Swindon people have added their voices to the chorus of complaints over delays in securing covid tests.

  • Some people report repeatedly trying to secure tests

    Some people report repeatedly trying to secure tests

Concerns have been raised across the country about the state of the testing system, with people reporting problems ranging from being unable to get through on the 119 phone line to being given test appointments at centres hundreds of miles away.
Similar concerns have been raised by people responding to Swindon Link's daily updates of the official figures.
According to that data, there were no reported cases in Swindon yesterday or the day before, but many readers believed this might be due to problems with the testing system.
One wrote: "My two sons became unwell on Wednesday, quickly followed by myself and my husband on Thursday. 
"We all had/have fever and cough, but also had a runny nose. I sought advice from 111 as to whether they should be tested, and they confirmed we should."
The reader added that she tried to book a test online hundreds of times, day and night, from Wednesday until Friday evening, before managing to secure a test - in Hereford on Saturday morning.
Another said: "A parent at school has been down with fever and loss of smell, but kid went to school and still no test done… we tried to get tests and of course none available."
A Swindon Borough Council spokesperson stressed that testing was the responsibility of the Department of Health and Social Care, but added: "Between 2 and 8 September, more than 3,700 COVID-19 tests were carried out at our two testing sites in Swindon with a further 793 home testing kits being sent out to local people. 
"If you have any of the three key symptoms, stay at home and book a test. If you can’t get a test booked in Swindon, keep trying the national portal because new slots are added regularly.”
The key symptoms are a high temperature, a new and continuous cough and a loss of or change to the sense of smell or taste.
A Government spokesperson said the work was under way to increase testing capacity.
The spokesperson added: "We have assembled the largest testing network in British history, including 72 drive-through sites, 55 walk-in sites, 21 satellite sites and 236 mobile units, in order to allow people to get tested at places which are more accessible to them."

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