Haydock Park coronavirus testing centre to open for frontline NHS workers

A drive-in coronavirus testing centre is to open at Haydock Park Racecourse as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to increase testing for thousands more NHS workers.

Friday, 10th April 2020, 12:00 pm
Picture: Getty

The site is part of a rapidly expanding network of testing centres being set up around the UK, and will operate on an appointment basis for self-isolating key NHS workers, or the symptomatic member of their family. These NHS workers will be selected and contacted directly by their NHS Trust.

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 13 new testing centres 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.

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Health Minister Lord Bethell said: “This new service will help end the uncertainty of whether NHS and social care staff 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.”

Professor John Newton, national coordinator for the UK Coronavirus Testing Strategy, said: “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 in England by the end of the month.”

The Haydock Racecourse Testing Centre is being staffed by from G4S and operated in partnership with Boots. It provides up to five drive-through lanes, in operation from 9am to 5pm. The Centre is being piloted for its first few days of operation.

Key workers tested at the drive in centres will receive their test results within a few days.

Samples from the testing sites will be analysed at new labs that have been set up in Milton Keynes, Alderley Park and Glasgow, using Thermo Fisher Scientific test machines loaned by universities across the country and public sector research establishment. Industry are also actively helping to establish these laboratories and the Government is working with Boots and other partners to set-up over 50 regional test centres around the country.