Coronavirus: Location of Dorset drive-through testing centre revealed

Coronavirus: Location of Dorset drive-through testing centre revealed

Published by Maria Greenwood at 8:01am 23rd April 2020. (Updated at 10:58am 23rd April 2020)

A drive-through coronavirus testing facility is to open in Dorset.

The facility will be at Creekmoor Park and Ride in Poole.

It's part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to increase testing for thousands more NHS and other key workers.

The site sits alongside a rapidly expanding network of testing sites being set up around the UK, and is operating on an appointment-only basis for NHS staff and other key workers. The facility will be piloted for its first few days of operation.

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This follows the launch of the Government’s partnership with universities, research institutes and companies to begin rollout of the network of new labs and field testing sites across the UK, with 29 regional testing sites opened to date.

This network will provide thousands more PCR swab tests – which are used to identify if you currently have the virus – for critical key workers, starting with NHS front line staff.

This means those who test negative for coronavirus can return to work as soon as possible, and those who test positive are able to recover.

Health Minister Lord Bethell said:

“This new service will help end the uncertainty of whether NHS and social care staff and other key workers need to stay at home, meaning those who test negative will be able to return to work.

“This is a national effort and we are proud to be working with a number of partners to turn this ambition into a reality and roll out additional capacity to where it is needed.”

microscope

Professor John Newton, National Coordinator for the UK Coronavirus Testing Strategy, said:

“New testing sites such as this one are a key pillar of our 5-pillar plan to scale up testing, and are critical in supporting NHS staff and other frontline workers who are isolating at home to return safely to work if the test is negative.”

“This is a brilliant example of industries and businesses turning their resources to creating and rolling out mass testing at scale, which will help to deliver on our aim of carrying out 100,000 tests a day across the UK by the end of the month.”

poole hospital before lockdown
Poole Hospital, before lockdown.

Debbie Fleming, Joint Chief Executive for Poole Hospital and The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals said:

“This new testing facility is very much welcomed within Dorset. It will enable us to significantly increase the number of tests that we can provide locally, which will in turn assist all agencies in getting key staff back to work swiftly and safely.

“It is great that all partners in Dorset have been working so well together, alongside national and regional agencies, to establish this facility as quickly as possible.”

The Government is also urgently working on setting up a home-testing service for critical key workers, supported by Amazon’s logistics network and other commercial partners.