A YORK MP has said the coronavirus testing system is in “meltdown” - after reports of York residents unable to access tests or being sent to centres across Yorkshire.

The Press has been contacted by families who have not been able to book a coronavirus test - with one family travelling 47 miles only to be told that no booking existed.

Amy, who lives in Osbaldwick, said she had been trying on and off for hours to book a test for her son through the gov.uk website and by calling the 119 number, but without luck.

Meanwhile, a woman who did not want to be named, said she managed to book a test for her daughter through the gov.uk website on Saturday.

She said: “We were ‘lucky’ and were offered a space in Halifax for our nine-year-old daughter.

“We decided to take it, despite the drive of more than an hour, because it was becoming obvious to us how difficult it is to get tested.”

However, when they arrived the test centre said it had no record of the booking and would not test the girl.

MP for York Central, Rachael Maskell, said: “I have received a lot of reports from York residents unable to access Covid-19 tests.

“The system is now sending residents all over the country for tests, when they are ill, to only be told that they cannot be tested when they arrive at these centres.

"The system is in meltdown. Meanwhile people are being told to isolate, meaning that they cannot go to work or school.

"I have urged the Government to bring forward its proposals for a walk-in centre in York so everyone can access a test as soon as they are showing symptoms. The government must a grip and sort out this chaos.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson has responded to the stories reported by The Press by saying: “It is disappointing to hear of people having poor experiences accessing testing. NHS Test and Trace is working, our capacity is the highest it has ever been and but we are seeing a significant demand for tests.

“New booking slots and home testing kits are made available daily for people with symptoms and we are targeting testing capacity at the areas that need it most, including those where there is an outbreak, and prioritising at-risk groups.

“Our laboratories are processing more than a million tests a week and we recently announced new facilities and technology to process results even faster.”

On Monday, a York woman, who does not want to be named, told The Press her husband had to go to Malton for his coronavirus test last week.

She said: "It was empty and they took him nearly an hour early. York Hospital sent him there before his scan. We live about 500 yards from the Poppleton Bar test centre but we were told that they don't use them!"

A spokesperson for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has explained why the man was sent to Malton. They said: “There are two different ways in which people can access a Covid test.

“Pillar 1 testing is for patients who are coming into hospital for a planned procedure, who we routinely test before they have treatment. The Trust provides patient swabbing at York, Scarborough and Malton hospitals. For York patients we refer them to either York or Malton hospital depending on appointment availability, so we do not delay their treatment and care any longer than is necessary.

“Similar to most hospitals, we provide our own swabbing service as we are able to analyse the swabs within four hours. This ensures we have results back in a timely manner, which is in the best interest of our patients.

“Pillar 2 testing which is for wider community testing, at locations such as Poppleton Bar, is a service delivered by a number of other providers appointed by the Government, which our hospitals have no involvement in delivering.”