Piers Morgan brands NHS test and trace ‘world-class shambles’–Britons unable to get tested
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Sarah-Jane Marsh, the director of NHS Test and Trace, has apologised to those unable to book a coronavirus test. The NHS chief said authorities were “doing all we can” to expand testing capacity but Piers Morgan has branded the news a “world-class shambles”.
Ms Marsh issued the public apology after continuing reports people cannot get tested for COVID-19, or are being told to travel hundreds of miles to access a test.
She wrote on Twitter: “Can I please offer my heartfelt apologies to anyone who cannot get a COVID test at present.
“All of our testing sites have capacity, which is why they don’t look overcrowded, it’s our laboratory processing that is the critical pinch-point.
“We are doing all we can to expand quickly.
“We have additional NHS, Lighthouse, University and Partner Labs all due to open-up imminently and we are also expanding the use of non-Laboratory based tests.
“The Testing Team work on this 18 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“We recognise the country is depending on us.”
Mr Morgan shared her thread and simply commented: “A world-class shambles”.
Dozens of other social media users also criticised the lack of testing.
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One person wrote: “Capacity at labs should have been expanded months ago otherwise why increase testing??”
A second fumed: Why does the UK, more than 6 months from its first reported case, still not have a working test and trace system in place?”
A third wrote: “Yes thanks for clarifying this Sarah-Jane but in a pandemic this isn’t good enough.”
Another person said: “Why was the increase in demand as schools/office work returned, not anticipated?
“There seems to be no precautionary planning at all. The Gov responses are always reactive.
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Last week Express.co.uk revealed people in the south east were unable to get a home-testing kit.
People applying for a test were receiving an error message on the official Government website.
Some people were told to travel hundreds of miles to receive a test, which one official dubbed were as “hard to get as Glastonbury tickets” – which famously run out within just minutes of going live.
But Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said people will not be asked to travel more than 75 miles to get a test.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said yesterday: “Hundreds of thousands of people are being tested every day and new booking slots and home testing kits are being made available daily.
“There is a high demand for tests and to help stop the spread of the virus 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.
“We have the capacity to test for coronavirus at an unprecedented scale.”
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