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Matt Hancock says he will 'absolutely look into' request for testing centre in King's Lynn

Health secretary Matt Hancock has accepted North West Norfolk MP James Wild's request to look at a testing site in Lynn .

The MP raised constituents’ concerns about getting tests in the town in the House of Commons today.

Mr Wild said: "As demand for testing increases, some of my constituents are struggling to get slots and are having to travel significant distances or even being turned away from mobile testing centres.

North West Norfolk MP James Wild asked health secretary Matt Hancock about a test centre in King's Lynn
North West Norfolk MP James Wild asked health secretary Matt Hancock about a test centre in King's Lynn

"Can my Right Honourable Friend confirm whether the government's plans to increase capacity are aiming for 10 million tests a day or the two to three million that Sir John Bell talked about this morning, and as part of that work will you look carefully at my request for a public testing site in King's Lynn?"

Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at Oxford University, has been overseeing the Government’s antibody test programme and advising ministers.

In response, the health secretary said he would "absolutely look at the request" for a site in Lynn, and praised the work of Norfolk County Council and his colleagues across the county to ensure the Covid safety messages are relayed to the public.

Mr Hancock added that he was encouraged to see the number of positive coronavirus cases come right down in the county after the Banham Poultry outbreak.

The minister also confirmed the government does not have plans for 10 million tests a day as specific figure in response to Mr Wild's question.

Mr Hancock said: "We do have a goal to get to the millions of tests when we can dependent on new technology and so that's what we need to drive forward and it's absolutely vital for this country for the resolution of exactly the type of problems we talked about today but also to expand testing availability more widely that we really embrace these new technologies."

Residents in Lynn have had to travel as far as Peterborough and Norwich for a test, while questions have also been raised regarding the signs for a testing centre at the bottom of Tennyson Avenue being removed.

Mr Wild told the Lynn News on Friday that there is a permanent testing centre at Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital but this is reserved for staff and families. He therefore expressed his desire to see more of a significant testing centre in Lynn.

Labour's West Norfolk councillor Jo Rust said more people should be made aware of the testing centre at Lynnsport.

She said: "I’ve just read about James Wild asking Matt Hancock for a testing site in King’s Lynn. We have one at Lynnsport. How can the MP not know that?There have to be questions asked about this and why Matt Hancock didn’t know either. What do they actually do?

"A friend in Norwich said at the weekend it was the only site in Norfolk that you could get a test, but here in the town that actually has the site, no one is aware of its existence."

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