Press Release – 16th September 2020

Sarah Owen MP raises COVID-19 testing trouble with Health Secretary

Sarah Owen MP today raised with the Health Secretary issues faced by Luton North residents in accessing covid-19 tests. The Health Secretary asserts that Luton residents can access tests, but the Luton North MP reports receiving a large number of messages from constituents since the weekend which report a consistent inability to access covid-19 tests in Luton.  

In the House of Commons, the Luton North MP put the question to the Health Secretary Matt Hancock:

“We have heard case after case of failure when it comes to testing. I have heard from parents, teachers and a vicar in Luton North all saying that there are no walk-in tests, no drive-through tests and no home kits available when they need them. The Secretary of State talks about capacity, but what we need is access to testing. Capacity is nothing without access to testing. When can people with symptoms expect to be able to get tests when and where they need them?”

In response, Hancock said:

“The vast majority of people do. In Luton yesterday, 484 people got tests. I agree with the hon. Member for Hackney South and Shoreditch (Meg Hillier) that we should follow the data.”

On Twitter, Owen added:

“The people who are contacting me to say they can’t get a test in Luton are not lying and Hancock’s non answer will be cold comfort to them.

The Secretary of State needs to get a grip of testing if we are to prevent uncontrolled spikes and further deaths.”