Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton constituency, has expressed her dismay at reports from local constituents that they have been diverted away on day one of the new mobile Covid-19 testing unit at the Meadow Centre, Dumbarton.

A local constituent who contacted the Covid-19 test helpline looking for a same day test appointment on behalf of her ill and symptomatic brother was told that the nearest test centre was Rothesay – a 1 hour 40 minute drive away. The constituent told Jackie Baillie that her brother doesn’t drive which would mean he would need to travel for almost 2 and a half hours on public transport to access a test.

Similarly, Jackie Baillie received a report from another Dumbarton constituent who, upon attempting to book a test for his two teenage children, was told that the nearest testing unit was Dundee.

An operator on the Covid-19 test helpline confirmed that if test centres do not have any afternoon bookings scheduled in then it will close prior to the 5pm closing time.

After months of calling for a testing unit, Jackie Baillie welcomed today’s opening of the testing service at the Meadow centre and has called for testing facilities to be made permanent.

Jackie Baillie MSP said:

“It really does beggar belief that on the very first day that our long awaited and hard fought for local testing service has opened, local people are already being told to travel as far as Dundee to access a test.

“Our community has been particularly badly hit by Covid-19 and it is paramount that any local people who are displaying symptoms are tested immediately. For that to happen, we must have a permanent and full time testing service in Dumbarton.

“I will be raising this issue with the Scottish Government urgently and will fight to ensure that, at the very least, the service stays open from 10am to 5pm – as per the Government’s promise.”

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