Fringe Box



Woman With No Covid Test Booking Weeps As Guards Refuse Entry to Onslow Centre

Published on: 15 Sep, 2020
Updated on: 15 Sep, 2020

By Hugh Coakley

A mother burst into years after she was refused a Covid test today because she didn’t have at booking at the Serco-manned centre in the Onslow park-and-ride. “How are they going to get it sorted if we can’t get a test?” she told The Guildford Dragon NEWS. “It’s going to go on and on.

“I tried to get a test for my children last week but I couldn’t get through. I’ve got symptoms now and I can’t get a test. There are so many people [testing staff] up there, at least 15, but I can’t get a test.”

No queues at the Test Centre approach road.

In the 30 minutes I spent at the site, three of the eight cars that arrived at the heavily staffed entrance were turned away. People in the five others were the only ones processed in that time. No one was queuing.

Two Serco guards asked what I was doing but this time did not threaten to report me to police, as happened before.

A man in a car with a young boy said they had been turned away because they didn’t have a “QR code” email. A guard told him that happened often but he should just keep trying.

The driver said his boy had a cough and an online doctor couldn’t say if it was Covid without a test. He had spent nearly four hours online this morning trying to get a booking.

“Because we’ve reported a symptom, my family now have to self-isolate until we are tested,” he said. “And I’ve got to make another trip from Alton.”

The Dragon has asked the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) why people are being refused tests when the heavily staffed centre is clearly not busy.

Guildford Conservative MP Angela Richardson said: “I commend all Guildford residents who are doing the right thing and booking to have a test if they show symptoms.”

She said Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the Commons today that the UK has performed 20 million tests, among the most per capita in the world and more than any other nation, with the average distance travelled by someone seeking a test 5.8 miles from home.

Angela Richardson with Health Secretary Matt Hancock outside the Royal Surrey County Hospital during the 2019 general election campaign.

Ms Richardson added: “In recent weeks we have seen a spike in Covid-19 which means a spike in demand for tests. In some isolated cases people have not been able to secure one locally and I am very sorry to hear about their distress.

“I understand this is due to nationwide laboratory capacity, which the government is actively working to expand.

“I urge all Guildford residents to continue to wash hands, wear face coverings where appropriate, and observe social distancing, so we can minimise the impact of a second spike.”

In June, after intervention by Ms Richardson, Surrey County Council told The Dragon: “The testing centre has the capacity to conduct 1,000 tests daily,” and “Deloitte has been commissioned by DHSC [to run the centre] and is working with Serco and Boots”. Test results are processed by “local and regional labs”.

SCC and Guildford Borough Council have also been asked for comment. These will be added when received.

See also: Finding a Test Site is a World-Beating Test of Your Patience, Or Temper and I Gave Up Trying to Get A Covid Test


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Responses to Woman With No Covid Test Booking Weeps As Guards Refuse Entry to Onslow Centre

  1. Cara Taylor Reply

    September 16, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    We had the same thing. My husband (and keyworker) and my two autistic teens were turned away because of a lack of a code that was not mentioned at all when booking. The staff told him thay had turned away approx 500 people that day because of the same administration error.

  2. Peta Malthouse Reply

    September 16, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    The figures on testing are now being reported in the national news having been fact-checked. It has been revealed that the 350,000 tests per day figure includes the 120,000 tests for antibodies, taken for research purposes.

    It is disingenuous of our MP to issue the statement she did. Denmark tests more per capita than us and over the next days no doubt more of the truth will come out.

    “Results in 24 hours,” was another claim but not even the leader of the opposition could get his results back within 24 hours. Care homes were promised weekly testing and that has not been achieved either.

    The government knew there would be an upswing in infection when they sent us to the pubs and got the children and students back in class. This should have been planned for. Too little, too late, again.

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