High demands for Coronavirus testing are causing challenges

A number of people have contacted us regarding difficulties with accessing Coronavirus tests in Richmond
Covid Testing

One of the biggest challenges about coronavirus is not knowing who has the infection or when it’s safe to return to ‘normal’ life.

People with symptoms need to self isolate and book a test as soon as possible to find out whether or not they have coronavirus. Rapid testing enables people to return to their lives more quickly if they are negative or, if they are positive gives people the confidence to continue to self isolate and protect their community or to seek appropriate treatment if they need it.

Currently, you can book a free test at a site near you or have a kit delivered to your home. For more information about testing, or to book a test online CLICK HERE or call 119 to book a test by phone.

As there are a fixed numbers of tests available each day and high demands some people have been contacting us for help.

We've heard from people who have been asked to attend drive through appointments some distance away or who have struggled to access a home testing kit. For some people this has led to delays of several days before they can access a test.

We asked the Department of Health and Social Care to explain what's causing these delays:

NHS Test and Trace is working – we are working to increase national testing capacity and hundreds of thousands of people are being tested every day. There is a high demand for tests and our laboratories continue to turn test results around as quickly as possible. To make sure we stay in control of this virus we are targeting our testing capacity at the areas that need it most, including those where there is an outbreak, as well as prioritising at-risk groups. We are expanding testing capacity to 500,000 tests a day by the end of October – as well as bringing in new technology to process tests even faster.
— A spokeperson from the Department of Health and Social Care

There has been no reduction in national testing capacity but demand has increased and some short term changes have been made that are causing challenges for some people, particularly in places like Richmond where there are relatively low levels of the virus.

What can I do if I'm struggling to book a test?

Booking slots are made available the evening before for morning appointments, and in the morning for afternoon appointments.  

For home testing, in rare circumstances when there’s high demand the booking portal is paused for short periods to help smooth out demand.  

This means if you're struggling to book an appointment, trying again later in the evening or the following morning may mean you can book a test more quickly. You can also try both booking online and calling 119.

Have you taken or booked a Coronavirus test?

Whether it was a good experience or not we'd like to hear from you.

Call us on 02080995335 to share your experience with us and help us to ensure that testing meets people's needs in Richmond.

Do you think you need to take a test for Coronavirus? To check if you are eligible and book a test CLICK HERE.

Please note that NHS tests are not currently appropriate for meeting travel restrictions. CLICK HERE to find out what you should do if you are being asked to take a test before traveling.

Looking for further information about coronavirus?

We have brought together the latest information about coronavirus including how you can get involved and help your community, and how to help your wellbeing during these uncertain times. 

Find out more

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