In response to concerns raised by Isle of Wight residents about access to Covid-19 tests, MP Bob Seely has written to Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, to urge him to take swift action to address what he says is clearly a system fault.
Access to testing a problem
Mr Seely said he is concerned by repeat reports that Islanders have been struggling to access both home test kits and appointments at the Island’s drive-through testing facility at Newclose Cricket Ground despite receiving assurances from the IOW NHS Trust that the drive-through testing site has ample capacity with some spaces going unused despite increasing demand for tests.
Seely: Unacceptable situation
“The problem is a national one and needs to be addressed urgently. Health bosses on the Island are working hard to assist Islanders but they can only work with the system the government has put in place. The situation Islanders are currently facing is unacceptable.
“I have written to the Health Secretary to explain that the issue is made all the more acute here due to the Island’s separation from the mainland because accessing other testing facilities – whether it’s Islanders travelling to the mainland on vice versa – involves the use of a ferry which is not only inconvenient and costly, but also increases the risk of transmission of the virus to others travelling on the ferries.
“I’m sure Mr Hancock will share my concerns that the use of ferries to access tests contravenes clear government guidance about using public transport whilst seeking a Covid-19 test and I hope that he can reassure me that the problems with Covid-19 testing – both home test kits and access to drive-through sites will be addressed quickly.”
Mr Seely said the advice from health bosses here is to keep trying to get an appointment on the Island.
News shared by the office of Robert Seely. Ed