Wellingborough MP to raise town's Covid-19 testing shortage with health secretary

Peter Bone said he was concerned that people with symptoms were being turned away from Wellingborough's test site

Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 4:57 pm
Peter Bone at Wellingborough's testing site. Photo: Peter Bone MP

Wellingborough's MP has said he will be speaking to the health secretary about symptomatic people being turned away from the town's Covid-19 test centre.

Peter Bone visited the Market Square site yesterday (Monday, September 14) and took to Twitter to voice his concerns.

In a tweet, he said: "Concerned that Wellingborough Covid testing centre is turning away people with symptoms, not because they don't have the capacity to do the tests, but because there is not enough laboratory capacity.

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"Will ask Matt Hancock what he is going to do to sort this out."

Yesterday, the government's test booking website told Northamptonshire residents there were no tests available in the area.

Northamptonshire residents shared their frustration at being unable to book a test in the comments with multiple people posting screenshots of the website showing no availability.

One resident posted a screenshot from September 8 when the booking system gave Inverness, 382.6 miles away, as the nearest test site with availability.

There is a national shortage of tests with people reporting difficulty in booking tests across the country.

Matt Hancock has been answering questions on the issue in the House of Commons today after saying last week that the delays would be fixed in two weeks.

Former health secretary and current chair of the Commons health committee, Jeremy Hunt, asked if Mr Hancock still thought the problems would be fixed a week from now.

Mr Hancock said the testing issues would be solved "in a matter of weeks" and said there had been a "sharp rise in people coming forward for a test".

The health secretary also said tests are being prioritised for acute clinical care, followed by social care.

Mr Hancock added: "We’ll set out in full an updated prioritisation and I do not rule out further steps to make sure tests are used according to those priorities."

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