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Complaints about local coronavirus test site still unanswered five months on

Former BCP Council leader Vikki Slade asked for an investigation into the local testing centre (file picture)
Former BCP Council leader Vikki Slade asked for an investigation into the local testing centre (file picture)

THE former leader of BCP Council has still not received a response to concerns raised over the past five months about practices at the local coronavirus testing centre in Creekmoor, Poole.

Last month Cllr Vikki Slade wrote to the head of Test and Trace, Dido Harding, calling for an independent investigation into a series of allegations about the running of the facility, writes Josh Wright of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

However, she has yet to have a response despite having also raised many of the issues separately as far back as May, shortly after the site was set up.

Cllr Slade
Cllr Slade

Among the concerns flagged by Cllr Slade were problems with the contracts of testing centre staff, alleged data breaches and inaccurate temperature readings being recorded for stored testing kits.

In a letter written last month, she said it was “unacceptable” that the complaints she had made dating back to May could “be ignored or dismissed so easily”.

“I am asking you to conduct an independent investigation into the operation of this site and the issues raised,” she said.

“I have received dozens of requests from residents to remove private companies from this role and I am concerned that the need for profit and government targets, is taking precedence over the need to provide a good service for our communities.”

Cllr Slade said the only issue that had been resolved since she wrote the letter was the availability of slots for testing at the Creekmoor centre.

However, she has still to receive a response to her letter calling for an independent investigation, nor to follow-ups sent to the county’s MPs.

She said: “I consider it hugely disrespectful, unprofessional and dangerous that no one has investigated the concerns that were brought to me by concerned residents and employees, and I feel very let down that having escalated this I still have nothing to tell local people.”

The Local Democracy Reporting Service contacted the Department of Health and Social Care asking whether it was looking into the concerns raised by Cllr Slade and whether it would conduct an independent investigation, but it did not respond.

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