THERE are reports of people living in England being forced to use false Scottish postcodes in order to access coronavirus tests as concerns continue over UK-wide lab testing capacity.
The UK Government faces growing pressure as people struggle to access tests locally – even in Bolton, which has the highest coronavirus rate in the UK, one hospital warned people were coming to A&E seeking swabs.
The chair of the area’s NHS Foundation Trust said the “failure” of the Test and Trace scheme is placing “huge pressure on the NHS and social care”.
The First Minister said yesterday that she had spoken to Matt Hancock about her concerns over testing capacity.
Hancock warned there had been a “sharp rise” in people seeking tests in England, placing an “enormous challenge” on the system.
READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon voices concerns as Matt Hancock claims test fix will take weeks
Nicola Sturgeon told daily briefing viewers that the issue lies with the UK-wide laboratory testing capacity, rather than the swabbing element of the system.
She has sought “assurances that Scotland will continue to get fair access to the UK-wide laboratory capacity”. However, Hancock said it would take weeks to manage demand.
Now there are reports that people in England are using Scottish postcodes to get booked for tests after struggling to access them with their own address.
One GP told Sky News that the “system is broken” and she was made to “cheat” it. As her child experienced coronavirus symptoms she had no way of getting a test, refreshing the website “100 times” over a series of days.
“In desperation” she went to a local test system and begged for a test so she could get back to work as soon as possible.
“They were lovely,” she said. “They helped me to manage to get a QR code by using a postcode in Scotland.”
Meanwhile Ellie Bell, a commercial manager from London, had a similar experience. She couldn’t access a test and spent five hours refreshing the UK Government website because her children had…
— to www.thenational.scot