Folks throughout England have advised BBC Information they’re struggling to entry coronavirus exams.
Well being Secretary Matt Hancock mentioned final week that no-one ought to should journey greater than 75 miles for a take a look at, after the BBC revealed some were being sent hundreds of miles away.
However dozens have now reported being unable to e book a swab in any respect.
The Division for Well being and Social Care (DHSC) mentioned testing capability was focused on the hardest-hit areas.
A major rise in demand for testing led the federal government to cut back the variety of appointments obtainable in areas of decrease prevalence, to prioritise areas with outbreaks.
This in flip led to individuals making use of for exams being directed to centres typically lots of of miles away.
However final Thursday Mr Hancock pledged to place in “quick” options to verify individuals didn’t should journey greater than 75 miles, efficient from final Friday.
Since then, postcodes entered into the federal government’s reserving system return a message suggesting there are not any testing centres or house kits obtainable – even if you’re an important employee with signs.
A DHSC spokesperson mentioned: “We’re seeing a major demand for exams, however when you have signs we urge you to get examined.
“New reserving slots and residential testing kits are made obtainable every day.”
Melissa, a GP within the north-west of England, utilized for a take a look at for her seven-year-old son on Tuesday after he developed a brand new steady cough and adjustments to his sense of style.
After being supplied a take a look at in Sunderland, about 130 miles away, she utilized by way of her native NHS’s employees portal – designed to prioritise well being employees.
However this method directed her first to Telford, virtually 100 miles away, after which to London, a distance of greater than 200 miles.
No house kits had been obtainable.
“It was a whole nightmare,” she mentioned. “I needed to cancel face-to-face appointments with sufferers, together with child clinics.”
She added that this had grow to be a standard theme in NHS Fb teams of which she was a member.
“The entire system goes to fall over.
“It would not really feel just like the infrastructure is there to help NHS employees going into winter.”
This sentiment was echoed by a psychiatrist in an space at the moment topic to authorities intervention due to its excessive charge of coronavirus.
She discovered that no exams had been obtainable after creating all the textbook coronavirus signs, together with a cough and a fever.
‘Glitch within the system’
Frances, in Suffolk, tried to use for a take a look at when her daughter developed a excessive temperature. She did not assume it was coronavirus however “the foundations are the foundations”.
She had understood that anybody with a temperature ought to apply for a take a look at, and was not capable of ship both of her youngsters to highschool till she did.
“Their academics should be saved protected, their classmates should be saved protected, we have to do the precise factor,” she mentioned.
Frances, like Melissa, was additionally not capable of get a house package, and when she tried to get an appointment at a drive-through centre was advised no take a look at websites had been discovered.
“It virtually seems to be like a glitch within the system,” she mentioned.
And Jamie in Chesterfield spent seven hours attempting to contact somebody utilizing the 119 quantity after no slots had been showing on the net reserving system.
His school-age little one had developed a brand new cough.
“It is the precise factor to do in response to the rules,” he mentioned.
Finally he managed to get a take a look at 50 miles away.
This comes as a lot of totally different information sources present cases are rising and the epidemic is growing for the primary time since earlier than lockdown.
On Friday, the variety of new every day confirmed UK instances of the virus rose to three,539 – a rise of greater than 600 on the day gone by.
The virus continues to be at a lot decrease ranges throughout the UK than on the peak in April, however a research of 1000’s of individuals in England discovered instances doubling each seven to eight days, with a marked rise in infections within the north and amongst younger individuals.
Though instances are rising, the variety of sufferers in hospital stays largely flat at 863.
What do I must know concerning the coronavirus?
There are some ideas that the issues with accessing exams have occurred since colleges have returned.
Mr Hancock has claimed 25% of individuals making use of for exams should not eligible as a result of they do not have signs, though his division didn’t say the place this determine got here from.
In the meantime, NHS 111 information printed on 11 September reported an increase in calls referring to youngsters with signs that might make them eligible for a coronavirus take a look at.
Observe Rachel on Twitter