Coronavirus testing centre set up at St Helens hospital for key workers

A coronavirus testing centre has been set up in St Helens Hospital for certain key workers and members of their households.

Friday, 1st May 2020, 2:21 pm
Updated Friday, 1st May 2020, 2:26 pm
A coronavirus testing centre has been set up in St Helens Hospital for certain key workers and members of their households.

The test centre is for staff working in care homes and employees of St Helens Council and St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

This also applies to members of their households who are symptomatic.

Staff can book a test via the CCG or St Helens Council, and should have been made aware of the development.

The testing facility at St Helens Hospital will bolster the work at Haydock Park racecourse, part of a network of regional centres for key workers.

If staff do not live in St Helens, there are also other locations available.

Julie Ashurst, director of commissioning, primary care and transformation at St Helens CCG, said: “For those eligible for testing in St Helens, they can book a slot at the mass testing sites in Haydock Park or Manchester Airport or can order a testing kit to be delivered to their home.

“The website gives details about those eligible for tests.

“In addition to this, to ensure that we have maximum testing capacity for health and care workers in the borough, we also now secured additional testing at St Helens Hospital for staff or family members who are displaying coronavirus symptoms, including children.

“We can access home swabbing for GPs in the borough, provided by North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and health and care staff can also be tested at sites in Chester and Liverpool if they live in those areas.”

To boost testing even further, St Helens CCG has applied for a mobile testing unit to be based in the town for health and care workers

The government has said it intends to deploy 96 of these mobile testing units, which be operated by the Armed Forces, during May.

All of the extra testing measures are part of Health secretary Matt Hancock’s pledge to carry out 100,000 tests a day in England by the end of April.

The government will reveal later today whether it hit that target, with indications that the government could narrowly fail to reach the target.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government had carried out more than 81,000 tests on Wednesday.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast this morning, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said “it looks like we’ll either meet the target or come close.”