A drive-through coronavirus testing facility is to open at the former Creekmoor Park and Ride in Poole, following concerns that people in Dorset were being asked to drive to Gatwick for their nearest facility.
The site, which is planned to open next week, will operate on an appointment-only basis for NHS staff and other key workers in Dorset, who are displaying covid-19 symptoms. 29 similar regional testing sites have already opened across the country.
Rapidly increase testing
The aim is to rapidly increase the testing of frontline NHS staff and to roll out testing to other key workers. 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.
Debbie Fleming, Joint Chief Executive for Poole Hospital and The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals said:
“This new testing facility is very much welcomed within Dorset. It will enable us to significantly increase the number of tests that we can provide locally, which will in turn assist all agencies in getting key staff back to work swiftly and safely.
“It is great that all partners in Dorset have been working so well together, alongside national and regional agencies, to establish this facility as quickly as possible.”
The Department of Health and Social Care for the UK Government will be operating the site and it won’t be open to the general public. It says that those eligible for testing will need to book appointments via their relevant employers who will have details of how their staff can do this.
The testing facility will be fully enclosed with round-the-clock security to protect the privacy of those attending.