A mum has told of her "nightmare" experience at a coronavirus testing centre with her daughter.
Natasha Davis said booking a coronavirus test for her daughter Megan, 12, was nearly impossible.
It began when Megan began to feel unwell and was having trouble swallowing yesterday, Wednesday September 9.
Natasha, 37, from Barnwood, Gloucestershire, said: "I tried to ring the doctor and arrange an appointment because I thought she might have tonsillitis, and was told they could see her at 4.30pm and in the meantime, I had to book a coronavirus test.
"I went online, but it said there was no availability, and the nearest test centre was Wales – I wasn't going to go all the way there.
"So I went home and tried to order a home kit, but then was told there were none available."
The mum of four then took Megan to her doctor which she said was "a horrible experience", GloucestershireLive reports.
"The doctor said they couldn't ask Megan to open her mouth" explained Natasha. "So I had to take pictures of her mouth and show the doctor through the window."
She was then told by the doctor that Megan needed to get a coronavirus test and that her and her family would have to isolate.
"I thought, sod it, and drove to the testing centre in Hempsted.
"I got there at six, but they said they were fully booked and could not see me.
"I explained the situation – that I tried to book a test online but I couldn't, but he was just adamant that they were so busy and had no spaces.
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"I said I have two more children at home and an 11-month-old to look after and needed to have it here.
"He just said to turn around and go home."
Natasha then parked her car and refused to leave until an older employee at the testing centre approached her and asked, "You aren't going to go away, are you?" to which she replied, "No, I'm not."
She added: "He finally gave in and said 'I'll see what I can do' and surprise, surprise, he managed to fit us in.
"But went I drove through there was only one other car there at the same time as me, it's disgusting!
"If he hadn't come over, I would have had to turn around and go home."
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Natasha was given a home testing kit and tested Megan herself yesterday, the results of which came back negative.
However, Natasha said the experience was a "nightmare" and that most of the staff at the testing centre were "completely unsympathetic".
"The booking system is hopeless. The nearest centre was Wales and I wasn't going to drive all that way."
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “NHS Test and Trace is working, our capacity is the highest it has ever been and our laboratories are processing more than a million tests a week.
“We are seeing a significant demand for tests but if you have symptoms we urge you to get tested. New booking slots and homes testing kits are made available daily and you can help protect yourself if you wash your hands, cover your face and make space.
“We are targeting testing capacity at the areas that need it most, including those where there is an outbreak, as well as prioritising at-risk groups and we recently announced new laboratory facilities and new technology to process results even faster.”
DoH also added background information for plans to expand to more testing centres in England.
They said: "As part of the drive towards a target of 500,000-a-day testing UK capacity by the end of October, the Government has announced the addition of new Lighthouse laboratories in Newport and Charnwood to the national lab network and work is ongoing to expand this even further in the coming months.
"Booking slots are made available the evening before for morning appointments, and on the morning for afternoon appointments.
"Improvements are being made to the system of allocating regional testing slots to ensure the distance limit does not go beyond 75 miles.
"For home testing when there’s high demand we pause the booking portal to ensure a steady flow into laboratories to help prevent backlogs which can lead to void tests or delayed results.
"The number of testing sites will be increased to 500 by the end of October. We added 19 last week and expect 17 more this week.
"We urge everyone to continue to play their part by following the guidance.
"Anyone with symptoms across the UK should get a test as soon as possible, as well as washing hands regularly, wearing face coverings and following social distancing rules to stop the spread of the virus."
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