Coventry MP grills Matt Hancock after local child sent to Scotland for COVID test

A Coventry parent was forced to travel 218-miles to Scotland so that their child could be tested for COVID-19.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock replying to questions from Taiwo Owatemi MP

Pictured: Health Secretary Matt Hancock replying to questions from Taiwo Owatemi MP.

This week, Taiwo Owatemi, MP for Coventry North West, posed a question to Health Secretary Matt Hancock after a Coventry parent was forced to travel 216-miles to Scotland so that their child could get tested for COVID-19.

The Coventry parent was advised to book a test after their child started presenting with the common symptoms.

The Labour MP highlighted the discrepancy that the Government’s policy states testing sites would be a maximum of 75 miles away yet, the young family were directed to a site 216 miles from their home despite Coventry having multiple testing sites of its own.

Ms Owatemi told the Health Secretary that “no parent should have to be put in that position. This clearly shows the lack of regard and poor handling of coronavirus in towns and cities outside of London.”

The Health Secretary responded by saying testing is “a challenge”, and that it was the “first I’ve heard of that happening”.

A few days later, the Health Secretary spoke about strains on the country’s testing capacity, blaming “a sharp rise in the number of people … getting a test, who are not eligible – they don’t have symptoms”.

Ms Owatemi said: “I am outraged that Matt Hancock has tried to shirk the blame to my constituents.

“People in Coventry have made colossal sacrifices throughout this crisis. The least the Government can do in return is provide local and accessible testing here in Coventry”.

The MP for Coventry South, Zarah Sultana, tweeted in support of her colleague: