The Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has today (11 September) spoken of her alarm at the revelation that a number of local parents are encountering severe difficulties in being able to attend a test site near their homes, with some being advised that the nearest available site for their child is Oldham in Greater Manchester.
Mrs Finch-Saunders has now written to the Welsh Minister for Health, Vaughan Gething MS, to request a change to the online test booking system so that it may display all available slots at the beginning of the day. At present, the online booking system staggers the opening of new slots throughout the day.
Residents are advised that before requesting a test they must have at least one of the following symptoms: a new continuous cough; a high temperature; or loss of or change to sense of smell or taste.
Commenting on the concerns of local residents, Janet said:
“I am incredibly alarmed at the revelation that local school children are being offered a COVID-19 testing slot at a site in Oldham, Greater Manchester. This is plainly unacceptable, especially when you consider that we have a perfectly capable testing site in Llandudno.
“Parents have often found slots at the local site to be booked far ahead of time, with the online booking system causing great confusion and frustration. This is because available slots randomly appear throughout the day, seemingly without rhyme or reason.
“Having been contacted by a number of concerned constituents, I have now written to the Welsh Health Minister to petition for a change to this booking system so that greater clarity can be offered to concerned parents. With the school year now in full swing, this issue must be swiftly rectified by the administration responsible for public health in Wales.
“In the meantime, those residents who are showing symptoms of Coronavirus can apply for home testing kit through the Welsh Government website. However, I must stress that the person applying for the testing kit should look to take this test in the first 5 days of having symptoms.”