May 4, 2020 11.57 am This story is over 42 months old

Health bosses’ plea as Lincolnshire could lose mobile testing units

The units have been helping Lincolnshire meet its targets

Lincolnshire’s health bosses are urging government leaders to keep mobile testing units in the county as they face being redeployed elsewhere this week.

The units, which are run by the army and currently travel between Boston, Skegness and Grantham, have been helping county health bosses achieve their 1,000 a day testing targets.

On Friday, the unit carried out more than 600 tests across Boston and Skegness, while the regional centre at the Lincolnshire Showground carried out 500 on Friday, dropping to 328 on Saturday.

However, a spokesman for the Department for Health and Social Care confirmed today (Monday) that discussions would take place tomorrow to decide where they would go next.

Lincolnshire Showground is set to become the county’s single testing facility.

“The sites are temporary and moved by demand in the area,” she said, adding that the site at the Showground would “still be in place even if the mobile testing ones are not there”.

Director of public health at Lincolnshire County Council Derek Ward said the county had put in requests for sites to be maintained, however, he added they were a “limited resource”.

“If they decide whether to put them elsewhere in the county, or other parts of the country, all we can do is ask for them,” he said.

“The more sites we’ve got across the county the better because it makes it easier for people in the county to get to, but it’s a scarce resource and it needs to be deployed where it has the maximum impact and we’ll have to accept that.”

“We’ve done well for the first week of this,” he added.

Case and death numbers for Lincolnshire are currently both considered significantly lower than elsewhere in the Midlands and the rest of the country – in some cases by more than 70%.

Bosses say the peak of the first wave has been passed, but have warned people to keep to social distancing measures to ensure there is not a second one.