Test and trace 'shambles' as people with suspected coronavirus sent to ‘non-existent’ testing site in Sevenoaks

Matt Watts
·2-min read
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People with suspected Covid-19 symptoms were sent to a non-existent testing site in Kent in the latest blow to the beleaguered NHS test-and-trace system.

Council officials said the site, in Sevenoaks, had been listed on the Government’s list of test centres online but there was not a test facility there.

Angie Waters, 67, who drove to the site yesterday after booking a testing slot at 11am called the situation “an absolute fiasco“.

There were reports of people driving around the facility at the Otford Road park-and-ride site for up to an hour before realising it was not operational.

A mobile testing site was due to be launched by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in response to the surge of cases.

A woman who had travelled from Stansted posted on the NextDoor community website: “The whole thing is a complete shambles."

The test and trace system has been under fire after a string of issues
The test and trace system has been under fire after a string of issues

She said it was her second attempt at getting a test after she had been sent to a drive-through earlier in the week at a hospital only to be told later that the test has been lost.

“So instead, I was sent to the testing centre in Otford today to get the test re-done, but the testing centre didn’t exist,” she added.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said people were no longer being sent to the “incorrect” location.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are aware of an issue with an incorrect testing location in Sevenoaks. This issue has now been resolved and people are being redirected to the correct site.

NHS Test and Trace is providing tests at the unprecedented scale of more than 270,000 tests per day nationally and we are on track to achieve capacity for 500,000 tests a day by the end of October.”

Kent County Council issued an apology to people who had “made a wasted journey”. It said it was investigating to figure out “what went wrong”.

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