A baffled grandfather says he was told "there's no place called Redcar in the UK" as he tried to book a COVID-19 test.

Bewildered Bill Turner, 81, said he was perplexed at the statement, considering he's lived in the seaside town since 1965.

"I must have been in a very long dream", he said as he branded the operation to get a test slot, "a total mess".

A mobile testing station has been running at Redcar Racecourse this week.

After suffering from a high temperature and feeling unwell, Mr Turner thought it would be simple to get checked out at a station minutes from where he lives.

After a failed attempt to get a slot online Mr Turner, a dad-of-three and grandad-of-five, rang the dedicated NHS COVID-19 number, 119, to be told "I don't exist, my national insurance number is a fake and Redcar doesn't exist, in the end, I said this is just a waste of time", he said.

The leaflet and information pack explaining the Government’s NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app Credit: Andrew Nordbruch/PA

Mr Turner said he told a phone operator that he wanted to book a slotat Redcar Races.

He said: "When I said Redcar she said we have got to put your nearest town, there's no place called Redcar in the whole of the UK.

"I said I've lived here since 1965 so I must have been in a very long dream.

"I went through all the towns, Saltburn, Guisborough, Stokesley."

Mr Turner said the operator came back to him and informed him he could have a test at "Redcar Races in Hartlepool", while giving him the postcode for Showcase Cinema at Teesside Park, leaving him totally perplexed.

He added: "She said it's only eight miles (to Hartlepool), I said I don't have a helicopter to go across the River Tees. Eventually, she told me there's one in Scarborough and another in County Durham. I said I'm not going up there, I'm 81 years old."

The pensioner, who has mild COPD said his symptoms have since cleared and he believes he didn't have coronavirus but "it would have been nice to get the all-clear".

A mobile testing station has been running at Redcar Racecourse this week. Credit: PA

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said:

As we tackle this virus we are determined to make it fast and simple for all eligible people who need a test to get a test.

Department of Health and Social Care

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