West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has been left aghast at West Lancashire’s lack of accessible Covid-19 testing.

Constituents have been contacting MP Rosie raising their concerns about the lack of access to testing, with no testing site based in West Lancashire and that when phoning 119, they find that there are no home testing kits available.

In one case, a concerned constituent aged over 70 was severely ill with many symptoms but could not get a home test and was being advised to travel to Haydock, Blackburn or Manchester to be tested.

With family becoming increasingly concerned, they arranged for this constituent to travel to Haydock for testing.

Rosie Cooper MP is disgusted that residents do not have appropriate access to testing, and the system is forcing residents to risk themselves and others. She said:
“This is utterly scandalous. My West Lancashire constituents cannot get access to a test either at a nearby testing site or through a home kit.

“With limited transport links across much of the constituency, how on earth are those without a car meant to get tested? Not that you would want those concerned about having Covid travelling on public transport anyway!

“So if you don’t have a car, what do you do? You are just left to your own devices, maybe to show up at A&E or a walk-in centre putting others at risk.

“In this urgent case I contacted the West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group but couldn’t get through to anyone! They eventually responded 12 hours later, hardly the response you expect for an urgent issue.

“I have now written to CCG Chief Officer Dr Amanda Doyle, the Chief Executive at Lancashire County Council and also Baroness Dido Harding, Head of NHS Test and Trace and Chair of the new National Institute for Health Protection. I have asked what they intend to do to urgently arrange so that those living in Skelmersdale and West Lancashire have access to testing.

“Whether they will be setting up a testing facility or at least arrange to have enough home tests available at all times! It can’t be acceptable to run out of kits in Lancashire, an area of substantial risk which includes Skelmersdale.

“I have heard there may be occasional pop-up testing events but how are people to know about this? Tweets won’t speak to many thousands of my constituents, generally the older, more vulnerable residents who might not be online or on social media.

“Government and health authorities need to get a grip of this quickly and not think they can forget about West Lancashire and leave communities at risk.”

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