Coronavirus testing centre springs up at Preston's College

Work is underway to create a Covid-19 testing station at a city college.

Thursday, 16th April 2020, 5:39 pm

The drive-through facility is housed on the main car park at Preston's College in Fulwood.

The already-taking-shape tented centre at the St Vincent's Road campus is just a stone's throw from the Royal Preston Hospital.

It t will be used by NHS staff as part of the latest contingency plan to ensure staff can work wherever possible and will not be open to people just turning up.

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An NHS testing station is being set up at Preston's College

The college has been closed since March and the grounds stand empty.

A spokesman for the college said: " The college car park, adjacent to St Vincent’s Road, is currently being prepared by the NHS to become as a coronavirus testing centre, initially for NHS staff only."

She added: "As the college campus is temporarily closed to learners and staff, we are supporting both the NHS and wider community as much as we can at this time."

The facility was set up by the Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System.

A spokesman for the Lancashire Resilience Forum said: " We are working with our partners to develop temporary testing facilities for coronavirus at different locations in the county.

"This includes facilities which are in use at Preston's College, and we thank them for their partnership work to make this happen.

"People must have an appointment to attend, which will be arranged by the NHS. People must not turn up without an appointment.

"By working together we can stop the spread and help people who need support and medical care."

A drive-through testing site is also being set up on the Sir Tom Finney car park at Preston North End, in Deepdale but this will allow patients to monitor their warfarin levels rather than look for Covid-19.

The clinic will be available each week, with patients invited to attend for routine blood tests.

Downing Street has said the UK now has the capacity to conduct 35,000 coronavirus tests a day – although fewer than half that number are currently being carried out.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said that in the 24 hours up to 9am on Wednesday, 15,994 tests were carried out across England, Scotland and Wales.

Of those, 13,950 were carried out by NHS England, Public Health England and the devolved administrations.

A further 2,040 were conducted at drive-through sites for NHS staff and their families.

Total testing capacity includes 20,771 in public facilities and a further 14,300 through commercial testing facilities.

“We have been very clear that where there is spare capacity available that should be used on NHS staff, on their families, and in social care,” the spokesman said