Bristol news People are 'trying for days' to book Covid tests in Bristol MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Some said they had been trying to book Covid-19 tests online for several days but hadn't succeeded
Breaking News ! People desperately trying to get a coronavirus test after days of trying to book online have resorted to visiting a testing centre without an appointment. Symptomatic people have become so frustrated with trying and retrying to book online that they have been turning up in person with the hopes of securing a test on the spot. BristolLive visited Victoria Rooms on Wednesday morning after being told there were no tests taking place at the test centre last week as the labs were at capacity - which was not confirmed by Bristol City Council or Public Health England. We spent an hour outside the site and there were no queues, witnessing just under 15 people leaving the test centre, including four children. Earlier this week, BristolLive reported people were having to drive hundreds of miles to get a coronavirus test as testing centres in the Bristol region are 'very busy'. Bristol City Council later said the shortage of available coronavirus tests in the Bristol area will take weeks to resolve and called the situation disappointing. This came as NHS Providers said hospitals in Bristol had raised concerns over staff absences because of the lack of testing. It has now become apparent people are turning up at a testing centre in the city without appointments because they aren't able to book one online. Annabel Ross was one of the people getting a test on Wednesday. The 20-year-old said: "I wasn't able to get a test online and I have been trying for two days. "I tried dozens of times on the website." The Bristol University student said she wanted to get tested after developing a cough, adding she just turned up without an appointment to see if it was possible to get a test. Coronavirus latest Three new symptoms Coronavirus death hotspot Rules to still abide by New face mask rules "You would hope the system would have been in place ready for September," she continued. "They were brilliant in the test centre, but it is trying to get there that is hard." There are five coronavirus test centres in the Bristol region and the newest test centre opened earlier this month in Netham Park in east Bristol, accepting people from between 8am and 8pm. The other test centres are at Bristol Airport - which is a drive-through testing centre and opened its doors in April - the Victoria Rooms car park in Bristol, Locking Road car park in Weston-super-Mare and at Paulton Rovers.
. A woman told BristolLive she had been trying to book an appointment online for three days and "got fed up" so decided to go to Victoria Rooms without an appointment. "I have a loss of taste and smell and the doctor advised me to get a test," she added. She said at one point she went on the website at 2am to see if there were any appointments available.
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"I just came here and there are no queues or anything," she added. "I just went straight through. "They are saying the test results could take up to five days [because of the current problems]." A man said he decided to go to Victoria Rooms after having been trying to get an appointment online for the past week.
The messaged that appeared when we tried to book a test
When we attempted to book a test using the NHS booking system on the afternoon of Monday (September 14) and again on Tuesday (September 15), we were told there were no tests currently available. A message said: "This service is currently very busy. More tests should be available later. If you can not book a test now, or the location or time are not convenient, try again in a few hours."
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The Department of Health and Social Care said NHS Test and Trace is providing tests at an unprecedented scale – 200,000 a day on average over the last week – with the vast majority of people getting tested within 6 miles of their home. A spokesman said: “There has been a spike in demand in recent weeks and the message is clear – only people with symptoms should be requesting a test. “We’re doing everything possible to overcome this challenge – including by bringing in new labs that can process tens of thousands of tests a day, opening new test sites, and trialling new rapid tests that will give results on the spot. “As we expand capacity further, we will continue to work around the clock to make sure that everyone who needs a test can get one.”
Source = MetiNews.Com