Anger after Hartlepool mum given Covid-19 test TWO HOURS drive away for child

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A Hartlepool mum was told to take their child 90 miles away for a Covid-19 test in Carlisle, it has been claimed.

It is understood the child started showing symptoms of coronavirus earlier this week – but when the mum logged on to the NHS Test and Trace website for an appointment, the closest available was two hours away in Cumbria.

It comes as cases of the virus in the town increased more than threefold last week to 41 compared to 12 in the previous seven days.

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The incident was highlighted on social media by local GP Dr Paul Williams who called it “disgraceful”.

Concerns have been raised about local availability of Covid-19 tests. PA WIREConcerns have been raised about local availability of Covid-19 tests. PA WIRE
Concerns have been raised about local availability of Covid-19 tests. PA WIRE

He said: “When she went online to book a test it gave her an appointment in Carlisle. She's already looking after another child with symptoms.”

Yet he said a testing centre in Stockton appeared empty when he went past.

Dr Williams added on Twitter: “Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson have totally messed this up. Someone needs to stand up for local people and insist that we get tests locally.

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"Last week a nurse I know had to travel 2 hours away to get tested.”

Dr Paul Williams. Picture by FRANK REIDDr Paul Williams. Picture by FRANK REID
Dr Paul Williams. Picture by FRANK REID

At the weekend Hartlepool MP Mike Hill raised serious concerns about testing availability saying some constituents were being made to travel to Bradford and Bishop Auckland.

The Department of Health and Social Care says Test and Trace capacity is the highest it has ever been and laboratories are processing more than a million tests a week.

A spokesperson said: “We are seeing a significant demand for tests but if you have symptoms we urge you to get tested.

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"New booking slots and homes testing kits are made available daily and you can help protect yourself if you wash your hands, cover your face and make space.

“We are targeting testing capacity at the areas that need it most, including those where there is an outbreak, as well as prioritising at-risk groups and we recently announced new laboratory facilities and new technology to process results even faster.”

People struggling to get tests was raised during Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday.

Have you been affected by this issue? Email [email protected] or call 07860 531349.

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