Self-employed dad ‘loses seven days of earnings’ after Covid test result delay

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A self-employed Swansea man was left unable to work for more than a week while waiting for a coronavirus test result.

Phil Webster is a self-employed delivery driver but was unable to get out and about in his van for after not receiving the result from a coronavirus test he undertook on Thursday, October 15.

The 40-year-old, from Gorseinon, visited the mobile testing unit at Penyrheol Leisure Centre and had to isolate at home while he awaited its result.

Mr Webster’s partner and daughter were also tested for the virus at the same time and were awaiting their results, with his daughter also unable to return to work until she received a negative test result.

“My son had a positive test result on the Wednesday evening (October 14) so we thought we should check our temperatures,” he explained.

“We had high temperatures so we went online and booked a test for the next morning.

“We went through the drive through test centre at Penyrheol Leisure Centre and were given our test kits through the window of the car and then we handed them over to a guy there and were told that ‘in 48 hours you should have your results’.

“After a couple of days we still hadn’t had the results so we phoned the number provided and were told that we were misinformed and that now it’s five days for results because of the amount of tests they are doing.

“They said there was nothing they could do and they didn’t know why we hadn’t had our results yet.”

On Thursday evening, one week after being tested for the virus, Mr Webster, his partner and daughter all received text messages saying: “We could not read your coronavirus test sample. This means it’s not possible to say if you had the virus when the test was done. We’re sorry but you’ll need to get another test as soon as possible.”

As a result of the delayed result, Mr Webster wasn’t able to go to work and says that he “lost seven days worth of earnings”.

He added: “I didn’t work for seven days and I can’t claim anything because I haven’t got a positive test result.

“Me, my partner and daughter have been stuck at home.

“Seven days worth of earnings I’ve lost which has infuriated me and not to have a reason behind it is even worse.

“My daughter is a care worker and she wasn’t able to go back to work until she got a negative test result.

“I’m a delivery driver and now we’re in another lockdown it’s getting busier but I couldn’t work.”

Mr Webster ordered another coronavirus test for him, his partner and daughter last week and all three of them received negative results on Monday morning.

Find the latest coronavirus statistics for your area:

Responding to this, interim executive chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, Baroness Dido Harding said: “I’m grateful to every single person who is playing their part in NHS Test and Trace to make sure that people who need one can get a test, we protect the most vulnerable, and we continue to reach the majority of positive cases and their contacts.

“Reducing turnaround times is our absolute priority to make sure we are reaching people as soon as possible.

“We always need to balance ensuring as many people as possible can get a test alongside ensuring test results are delivered as quickly as possible, and as capacity continues to grow at pace, we expect to see improvements.

“Partnerships across the public, private and educational sectors, alongside rapid advancements in technology and our ongoing recruitment drive, are helping us ensure that we meet our target of 500,000 a day by the end of October.

“Nearly 30,000 testing capacity has been added in the last week, which will result in faster turnaround times going forward.

“Strengthening our partnerships with local public health teams, meanwhile, will further improve the speed with which we are able to trace and contact people in their communities.”



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