'The incompetence that I see from this track and trace system is going to lead to more deaths' - Dad of two turned away after Covid tests ran out
Dad of two Steve Hynd told Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid how he was turned away from a testing site because they had run out of Covid-19 tests.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Steve, who drove two hours to Telford with his two young daughters who had coughs, recalled how he was forced to return home. He is now urging the government to give more clarity in their messaging about COVID-19 tests.
Recalling what happened when he arrived at the test site, Steve said: "We arrived five minutes before our booked-in slot and then we were told to simply turn around and go back home again. It was an incredibly mixed picture about what was happening. Very confused. A lot of people upset and essentially we were told that the site was closed. We were told that they had run out of tests."
Explaining why he wanted to get a test done, Steve revealed: “For me, both my two children had coughs, so I was trying to follow the government advice. They say if you have a new and continuous cough, you should go for a test. I think it’s also a moral responsibility. If there’s any chance of track and trace working, we all need to go and have tests and we need to make sure that happens. It’s about protecting everybody around you."
"It makes me furious with the government, absolutely furious. The lack of clarity they’ve been giving in their messaging. We can’t expect people to get this right when there are so many mixed messages coming out of government. You need to be following this so closely to be understanding what people should and shouldn’t be doing," Steve added.
"For people to have confidence in the system, they need to have clear guidance of what they should and shouldn’t be doing and that simply isn’t coming at the moment. They need to be supportive and they need to be clear and I just don’t feel like it’s coming."
Steve went on to say he sadly lost his dad to Covid-19 in May.
"Earlier in the year, my Dad passed away of coronavirus. He was very ill and had a lot of underlying health conditions, and the saddest thing about it was not being able to be with him when he passed away, so him having to be in hospital by himself, surrounded by people wearing protective clothing," he said.
He added: "[I’d like to give a] tribute to the NHS staff, and the people that took care of him before that, but the coronavirus stripped us of Dad and being unable to be with him in the last weeks of his life and ultimately the incompetence that I see from this track and trace system is going to lead to more deaths. We need to be honest about that."
Steve’s dad was in a care home where other residents passed away to COVID-19. When Piers Morgan asked Steve how he felt about Matt Hancock boasting around the ‘protective ring’ the government put around care homes, Steve said: “It makes me incredibly upset. When I went to pick up my Dad’s possessions from the care home, I spoke to the assistant manager there and if I could get Matt Hancock to look in her eyes and feel the level of hurt she felt. She felt so helpless to not be able to stop the people that she was looking after from dying… it was utterly heartbreaking."