1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Can people really not get tests for 2 weeks?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Mrs_Hamilton, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. Mrs_Hamilton

    Mrs_Hamilton Occasional commenter

    I just don’t know what to believe.
    There’s news, fake news, social media, the school grapevine, evidence I see myself...

    I have seen and heard that children are isolating for 14 days as parents say they cannot get a test and have had to isolate due to being unable to get a negative result. When this was a PA pupil I figured it might be a reason to just be off school, but now others are reporting being unable to get a test too.
    I know there are problems with testing - but unable to be tested for 14 days?

    Does anyone know if this is genuinely the case?
  2. Flowersinspring

    Flowersinspring Lead commenter

    Round here you can get a test for the next day and results under 24 hours.
    nomad likes this.
  3. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    I know a family who got one same day for a schoolchild.
  4. modelmaker

    modelmaker Star commenter

    This evening's Panorama https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000n1xp might reveal the answer.

    "Panorama hears from whistleblowers working inside the government’s new coronavirus tracking system. They are so concerned about NHS Test and Trace that they are speaking out to reveal chaos, technical problems, confusion, wasted resources and a system that does not appear to them to be working. The programme also hears from local public health teams who say they have largely been ignored by the government in favour of the private companies hired to run the new centralised tracking system. As Panorama investigates, it has left some local authorities questioning whether local lockdowns could have been handled better or avoided altogether."

    This article from the Grauniad outlines what the essence of the problem is.

    "The UK ranks among the great hubs of scientific research. It has 44 virology labs across the NHS, and more throughout academia. It also boasts great public health expertise. Yet England’s testing regime is in meltdown. Why?

    It is not through penny-pinching. Ten billion pounds of your money and mine has been poured into test and trace. Rather, it’s because the vast majority of that expertise has been utterly sidelined. The system that is labelled “NHS test and trace” has hardly anything to do with the NHS. Each fragment of this system is contracted out to big private companies that often turn to subcontractors. So Deloitte handles the huge Lighthouse Labs that can’t get through the tests, while Serco oversees the contact-tracing system that regularly misses government targets.

    Still, failure pays: Serco’s initial fee for running tracing was £108m. Then there are the consultants buzzing around this cash cow. Accenture pocketed more than £850,000 for 10 weeks’ work on the contact-tracing app – the one that still hasn’t been launched. McKinsey scooped £560,000 for six weeks’ work creating the “vision, purpose and narrative” of a new public health authority.

    Early this year, Boris Johnson and Hancock faced a stark choice. They could take the expertise and systems of the NHS and public health authorities, however badly starved of cash and bashed about by a decade of hapless Tory ministers, and build around that a response to the pandemic. Instead, they ignored the scientists, brought in the outsourcers and went for size – except the shiny mega-labs were too late to help for most of Covid’s lethal first wave, and the contact-tracing was laughably poor.

    The Nobel laureate and head of the Francis Crick Institute, Sir Paul Nurse, wrote three times to Downing Street and Hancock at the start of the pandemic, offering to coordinate university labs to help the NHS in testing for Covid. Had his proposal been taken up, he says, up to 100,000 tests a day might have been done from very early on. That alone could have avoided some of the deaths in our care homes. He didn’t get a reply, so his institute went ahead anyway. Similarly, nearly 70 leading virus experts wrote twice to Downing Street’s top scientists offering to help. As public health officials working at local and regional level, they were brushed off. Control was centralised. Even after all the lethal errors, Hancock and Johnson plough on, offering a vast £5bn contract for private companies to take over Covid testing. To my untrained eye, that appears another attempt at privatising much more NHS work."

    To put it simply, the government hates the public sector and will do whatever it takes to destroy it, even if that means thousands more will die unneccessarily.
  5. Mrs_Hamilton

    Mrs_Hamilton Occasional commenter

    Thanks, interesting responses so far.

    With so many “self-isolating with symptoms - awaiting test” I spend each morning anticipating positive results and bubble closures.
    Then they’re taking the full 2 weeks isolating, claiming to be unable to get a test at all in that period. It seems surreal - but I guess everything about COVID seems surreal.
  6. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Proven liars?

    Or independent experts?

    Testing is a shambles. With a remotely competent government, I'd say they were specifically making it difficult to get tested, so as to keep bad news off the front pages as we opened up fully. However, there's no way that this overpromoted and underskilled rabble could manage to do that. They are simply horribly and unfathomably incompetent.
  7. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    But there’s lots of lovely money lining the pockets of the businesses with the contracts.
    Catgirl1964 and monicabilongame like this.
  8. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    My test materials delivered the day after ordering, collected by courier on Sunday 20th, results texted on Tuesday 22nd.
  9. Sally006

    Sally006 Star commenter

    Whilst I agree with you in the main I do think there may have been some deliberate difficulties as the massively increasing numbers didn’t suit their agenda that all was fine with opening schools.
  10. 7eleven

    7eleven Senior commenter

    I’ve seen on my local Facebook page people complaining they’ve been trying for 3/4 days to book a test and then driven past the local testing centre which has been empty!
    monicabilongame likes this.
  11. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    I'll seek out the posts (maybe) I made a few weeks ago when I was requested by the Zoe app to take a test and Uttoxeter (97m) was the nearest possibility. And even that was gone the next day.
    monicabilongame likes this.
  12. modelmaker

    modelmaker Star commenter

    If you subscribe to the Times, this article has some interesting facts about the availability of tests across the UK. What the article says is that in general, NI and part of Scotland, there's a 100% chance of getting a test. For most of Scotland, there's an 80% chance. With England it's more patchy.

    Covid test availability.PNG

    So it is possible to get tested in some places, but not in others. The question that needs answering is why.
  13. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    A lot of testing is mobile. We've had one set up a few hundred metres away on 2 occasions.
  14. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    But you still can't get one if you haven't booked. They don't accept bookings if capacity for lab work has been reached.
  15. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    Parents are trying over and over, staying up until midnight in some cases. I know of sveral people in my family, and friends in the local area, who haven't been able to get one for days. Remember not everyone can drive, or wants to drive if they feel unwell.
    And one has just come back positive-it took the man three days to get it ordered.
    Not to mention the home test that the person waited for-finally got-went to register-and it said the barcode was wrong, so back to square one. I'm sure that can't be the only one, either.

    Some people are really suffering, thanks to all of you who are pro school opening. I know of at least one person who is now in pain, having -probably- caught it from his son. Let's hope he's not one of the ones who dies from this-please don't think parents/grandparents aren't trying to get tests, yes, some won't bother, but others are in great pain and really worried about leaving their children with nobody, so scoffing that they're not trying to get a test isn't very helpful!
    Catgirl1964 and monicabilongame like this.
  16. Mrs_Hamilton

    Mrs_Hamilton Occasional commenter

    Not so much scoffing...more...incredulity.

    Families, parents, pupils, teachers are putting themselves ‘out there’ and then no tests when needed. I think it’s despicable that parents, anyone really, trying to get tests can’t!
    I genuinely wondered if this was the case and am saddened to hear it is.
  17. unpleasantsmells

    unpleasantsmells New commenter

    I tried to get a test in the holidays (needed, not wanted). No home tests available and the website then tried to send me off to a centre hundreds of miles from my house. Tried again later - same result only even more miles. I wasn't prepared to drive that far so rang the helpline. They answered quickly and then organised me an appointment not far from where I live (still a bit of a drive but nowhere near the hundreds of miles the website said I had to go). I don't understand why the test centre nearer to me didn't appear on the website but at least I got one. Test results arrived next day.

    A colleague of mine needed a test for her child due to cough, high temperature etc. and could not get a test for three days, by which time it was too late because the tests are only reliable if it's five days from the time the symptoms start (the child had coldy symptoms for several days before the cough and high temperature arrived, so apparently the test would've been inaccurate as it would've been taken after the five days). So they had to isolate for 14 days.

    Mind you, I am getting a bit suspicious of the children who are off for a fortnight, come back for a day, seem to panic at how far behind they are and then isolate again. It's happened to three of our students, all of whom have persistent absence problems. Hmm.
  18. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    common here to be sent 60 miles to get one, whilst the mobile test centre 2 miles away sits empty
  19. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    It’s the lack of laboratory processing that is causing the problem.
  20. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I think most of it is fake.
    There's bound to be a few cases where youcan't get a test easily, but there will be hundreds of thousands who can get a test easily.
    We thrive on gloom and doom here in the UK.
    LondonCanary likes this.

Share This Page