Over the past week since my last blog, colleagues and partners from across our region have been working hard to support the roll-out of significant increases in COVID-19 testing capacity across Humber, Coast and Vale.
This includes the addition of two new Regional Testing Centres at the Humber Bridge Car Park (north) in Hessle and the Poppleton Bar Park and Ride in York. Mobile testing units will also start operating this week, making it easier for key workers across Humber, Coast and Vale to access testing closer to home.
These Regional Testing Centres and Mobile Testing Units provide significant additional testing capacity over and above the health and social care staff testing we have put in place using our own hospital laboratories with swabbing sites around the region at Brigg, Scunthorpe, Castle Hill, York and Easingwold.
This means that a wide range of key workers across a range of sectors such as those working in the police, fire service, transport and logistics, education, food production, amongst others can now be tested if they or someone they live with is showing symptoms of COVID-19.
We would like to encourage staff in our health and care organisations to continue to use the existing booking routes where these exist to enable key workers in other sectors to utilise the additional testing capacity offered by the new regional sites and for key workers in all sectors to continue to contact their employer in the first instance if they think they need a test.
This expansion of testing capacity over the last week is another example of partnership working in action and is testament to the strength of the relationships in our region that we have been able to put in place so much change in such a short space of time.
We also established a Humber, Coast and Vale Testing Steering Group, chaired by our Partnership Clinical Lead Dr Nigel Wells. This group will provide strategic leadership and oversight across all aspects of our local testing strategy, ensuring that across Humber, Coast and Vale we are as effective as possible in implementing all aspects of COVID-19 testing, as set out in the Government’s testing strategy.