'Shocked and furious': MP turns up at nearest Covid-19 test centre for Leamington, Warwick and Kenilworth residents - and was horrified at what he saw

During the hour he was there, the MP counted just 16 cars entering the centre, despite many people being told there are no apppointments available

Sunday, 20th September 2020, 9:00 pm

The Covid-19 testing system for residents in the Warwick district is currently a failure, says the MP for Warwick and Leamington.

Matt Western MP has today (Sunday September 20) called out the Government’s “incompetence” in their handling of the Test and Trace system after observing so few people accessing a testing facility despite rocketing demand.

He went along earlier today - unannounced - to the regional testing facility at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry to see for himself what was happening on the ground.

Matt Western went along earlier today - unannounced - to the regional testing facility at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry to see for himself what was happening on the ground.

The testing facility is the main one in the region, serving residents in Coventry and Warwickshire, including the Warwick and Leamington constituency.

During the hour he was there, Mr Western counted just 16 cars entering the centre.

The site, the MP argued, is a ‘large operation’ which has capacity to process far more tests than what he witnessed.

This follows news that demand for coronavirus tests has exceeded capacity as the UK has seen a rise in daily confirmed Covid-19 cases, as well as a rise in the crucial R rate across the whole country.

Mr Western suggests that there is a “failure in the Government and their systems to get people tested, and that’s why there’s such a problem”.

Commenting on his visit, Mr Western said: “Constituents have been telling me that they have had great difficulties in booking a test, with some being sent miles away, with others not being able to access one at all.

“Not satisfied with the Government’s answers and its overall incompetency I approached Public Health Warwickshire and Warwickshire County Council.

"I asked them what numbers of tests they have been doing per day against their capacity for the site. They say they can’t tell me or haven’t replied. You sense yet another cover-up.

“I was therefore shocked and furious to discover only 16 cars using the testing facility at the Ricoh today, where it was clear that many more could be processed.

“This isn’t the fault of the facility staff who are doing the best they can, but it’s rather a clear failure in the Government and their systems to get people tested and traced.

“I’m afraid that the Government are wilfully misleading the public on what is really going on.

“We’ve seen cases rise once more, yet the Government still can’t get testing right.

"It has wasted the summer, during which it should have focussed on getting the Test and Trace system running up to standard, but instead we are left once more with yet another failing system putting the public’s health at risk.

“This is what incompetency looks like. We need the system to be fixed before the Government loses total control of the virus.”