Basingstoke's MP, Maria Miller has welcomed the opening of a Local Test Site at The Anvil, making it easier for many people in the constituency to access testing.
The location of the new Coronavirus test centre has been decided by the local NHS, Hampshire County Council and Basingstoke Borough Council working with the Department for Health. Being able to access a test easily is crucial to stopping the spread of Coronavirus. That means there need to be testing sites that can be reached easily. The Anvil test centre increases the number of tests that can be carried out locally and its town centre location will make it easier for more people to reach, even for those who don’t have their own car.
Maria said "The new Coronavirus testing centre in Basingstoke is part of a national programme to expand the number of town centre sites that can be more easily reached by people who are not in cars. It will add important testing capacity in our part of the south east.
"All tests continue to be booked in advance online and those booking are given the next available appointment which may not be the location nearest to where they live. People with Coronavirus symptoms can still ask for home testing kits, which may be a very good option for anyone unable to travel easily to one of the new locations, or indeed to one of the temporary mobile testing sites in operation around the county.
"Anyone attending a test appointment at The Anvil will be given clear instructions on how to reach the test site safely, including adhering to social distancing, not travelling in a taxi or on public transport, wearing a face covering throughout (including travelling to and from the testing centre) and washing their hands thoroughly before leaving for their appointment.
"The approach has been agreed with expert clinical oversight. Additional hand sanitising stations will be provided. If people do come to the centre by car will be directed to park close to The Anvil and access it via clearly marked routes. The lifts and stair wells leading to The Anvil will be cleaned every 30 minutes by dedicated staff from the testing centre."
Free and accessible testing is a cornerstone of the new NHS Test and Trace service, which is working to stop the spread of coronavirus in local communities and to support the lifting of restrictions so people can see more of their friends and family, help businesses get back on their feet and get people back in jobs. The NHS Test and Trace service have processed more than 26 million coronavirus tests since the pandemic began1 and contacted and identified 690,438 people as recent close contacts2 since the service began on 28 May 2020.