Covid-19 local testing centre now opened in New Addington

The borough’s first covid-19 testing centre opened in New Addington this afternoon.

Prefabricated buildings were erected on the Addington Community Association car park on Central Parade yesterday, and it opened for a pilot testing session for three hours from 2pm today.

This pilot will continue from 10am tomorrow, and according to Public Health Croydon, “The site should be in full operation from Friday, September 18, when it will be open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.”

This is a considerable upgrade on previous in-borough testing arrangements, which saw army personnel erect a temporary drive-in test centre in the car park of the Fairfield Halls for two to three days at a time.

In a statement issued by the Department of Health and Social Care this afternoon, they said the testing facility is “part of the government’s UK-wide drive to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for communities”.

Testing is only available for those either with coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense or taste – or those who have been asked to get tested by a doctor, public health professional or by their local council.

Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus or by calling 119. “You can expect your result the next day,” the government press release promised.

The health department’s press release was only a tad self-contradictory, stating in one sentence, “The site is easily accessible without a car,” while in the next sentence advising those attending the test centre not to use public transport to get there. Central Parade is more than five miles from central Croydon, so is easy to get to without a car or public transport for those in New Addington, but perhaps not so much for those in, say, Upper Norwood or Purley.

“Those being tested will be required to follow public health measures, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practising good personal hygiene and wearing a face covering throughout (including travelling to and from the testing centre).”

And they added, “Anyone attending an appointment at a walk-through testing will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely.” Which is good of them.

“Testing is available for everyone, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.”

The government’s spin, that this is all part of “the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history”, overlooks previous promises from health secretary Matt Hancock that such volumes of testing would be available by the end of April, or that the largely privatised system of lab testing is taking seven days or more to process the results of the tests.

Promises, promises: Dido Harding

The health department says, “Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.

“Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, advising them to stay at home for 14 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book at a test if they develop symptoms.”

The press release included a quote from Baroness Dido Harding, the Tory grandee who has been installed as the interim executive chair of the new body, the National Institute for Health Protection, who said: “Getting a test is now faster and easier than ever.

“Over 95 per cent of people will get their results the next day.”

We shall see, shan’t we?


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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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5 Responses to Covid-19 local testing centre now opened in New Addington

  1. Anthony Mills says:

    They are complete liars. Hancock himself said there is a backlog of 185,000 tests which cannot be cleared for 6 weeks even while exporting many to european labs. The blatant, outrageous unapologetic corruption of awarding multimillion pound contracts with no tendering, oversight or scrutiny to family, friends and cronies of government members and officials is a blindingly obvious measure of how utterly disfunctional and corrupt our so-called democracy has become. The testing process has been broken into separate parts given to different private companies, including SERCO, prosecuted for fraud, with no integration, communication between or coordination of those parts. We would be the laughing stock of Europe if it were not so tragic and criminally incompetent. What amazes me is how they continue to get away with it. Yet again many will suffer and die because of the self-interest of those plutocrats making millions from others suffering.

  2. Billy James says:

    Dido Harding yet another so called successful businesswoman from the Negreedy school of imbeciles…..

  3. Rob says:

    So now new Addington has everyone from the surrounding areas travelling here with a possibly life threatening condition. Some will come by public transport, some will pop in the shops after their test!

    Why Addington? I would suggest a less populated area would have been much better!!!!! Ikea, Macros car park any where but a heavily populated area with a very high number of vulnerable people!

  4. Darren says:

    Who’s idea was it to put a test centre in such a heavily populated area??
    The whole of Croydon and surrounding areas arriving by public transport! popping in the shops after their tests! ….its not even a drive through!
    This area has a lot of elderly and medically vulnerable people, wouldn’t an out of town car park like Macros, Purley way fields or Ikea been a better place??? WHY ADDINGTON?

  5. Am I the only person who thinks that this testing is a complete waste of money and nhs resources? Who’s to say that your test results comeback clear but you touched an infected handrail coming out of the test centre. I cannot see the point of even trying to control or monitor the spread by testing, for a start, who is enforcing public behaviour according to the results? Oh, the whole thing is just a shambolic mess and an excuse for government to blame the virus for its own variety of shortcomings in other areas,

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