Berkshire news 'I've given up': Coronavirus testing 'nightmare' continues for families MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Boris Johnson pledged to have a "world-beating" coronavirus test, track, and trace system running by June 1
Breaking News ! Boris Johnson pledged to have a "world-beating" coronavirus test, track, and trace system up and running by June 1. In the 107 days that have passed since the prime minster's promise the system has consistently been met issues. This week health secretary Matt Hancock said it now faces "enormous challenges" as it struggles to cope with a surge in demand. Local shortages has seen many people reporting problems with getting online bookings and being directed to test sites hundreds of miles from their homes, with those in Reading earlier this month being told to travel 70 miles to take the ferry to the Isle of Wight for a test. The recent problems triggered Labour and Slough MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi to write to Mr Hancock out of fears the town could be thrust back onto the Government's watchlist because of the "unacceptable" coronavirus testing problems. Find out how you can get the latest news from BerkshireLive delivered straight to your inbox In a letter he shared on his Twitter account he heavily criticised the Government's decision to impose limitations on the town's Montem testing site and warned: "How can this Govt warn of the dangers of a second wave of this deadly virus, yet fail to provide communities with the resources to tackle it effectively? They must take urgent action." Mr Hancock has said the current issues would take a "matter of weeks" to resolve and the Government is to update its testing policy to prioritise the most urgent cases. BerkshireLive used the Government's website on Tuesday (September 16) in an attempt to book a test using both Reading and Slough postcodes but was met with the same message that no slots nor home kits were available. Families have been quick to share their experiences on our Facebook page with some saying they have attempted for weeks to book a test. Cheryl Bradley had been trying since 3am and wrote: "After a few hours of trying I was presented a Newport one but the system failed to complete booking so trying all day since. "It's for my child and I have been trying phone line too but that terminates calls. I have two children home now from two schools but it's just a bad snotty cold but because of temperature, can't go in. School is going to be like the hokey cokey this winter." 'A holiday to Aberdeen' Carly Henshaw tried to book using the Government's website but said it "either said nothing available or wanted to send me on holiday to Aberdeen". She wrote that her children are now past the test point and have had to do full isolation. Sarah Bradford tried all day yesterday to book a test and had three devices ready for 8pm "when they tend to release the next days slots". She said she got through three times but was kicked out and back to the start everytime.
. But it is a hard system and very frustrating. You do just have to keep trying and trying and it is 100% pot luck. The system needs to change as I don't wish to go through it again. I feel for people that don't have the internet and the time to do it." Katie Mannering tried to book a test for her daughter and managed to get a slot at Newbury showground, "just up the road from us".
BerkshireLive was met with this message on the Government's website when it tried to book a test using a Reading postcode
"But we took so long putting in the car reg about a minute, the slot had gone," she said. "You only can test in the first five days if this keeps happening we are going to have to stay home for 14 days and lose time at school and we lose earnings." Katy Rose said "it's been a nightmare" and she has constantly met with the message that the service is very busy and to try in a few hours. "[I] Finally got through to the next stage to enter a post code and it said that there are no walk in, drive in, or at home tests available," she wrote. "Having to just isolate now as it seems to be hopeless trying to get a test." Nikki Simonds was eventually offered a slot in Newport, Wales, having tried for hours to book a test. "Like I can take an unwell person all that way," she said. "[I] continued to try, finally at 10am today a local slot became available, selected it , entered car reg and clicked confirm to then be sent back to the beginning. Now I have managed to get a home test kit which should be here within 48 hours. Only took me 24 hours to achieve this and I’m wondering if it will ever arrive." Have you found it difficult to book a test and is it stopping you returning to work or your children to school? Tweet @berkshire_live or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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