Doncaster care home worker describes airport testing centre an 'utter shambles'

A Doncaster care home worker who attended the specialist drive-thru Covid-19 test centre at Doncaster Sheffield Airport has called the operation an ‘utter shambles’.

By George Torr
Monday, 11th May 2020, 11:09 am
Updated Monday, 11th May 2020, 4:10 pm

Gemma McGoldrick, aged 30, from Cantley, said her test was ‘thrown through her car window’ onto her lap and that she was told to carry out the test herself.

Ms McGoldrick said she feared the swab would not return a valid test and raised concerns around the long wait she had to endure, despite being given a specific time to turn up.

She said her care home manager advised her to get tested, after ringing in with symptoms.

Gemma McGoldrick

The 30-year-old, who has worked at Dunniwood Lodge care home in Bessacarr for more than two years, said she joined a queue of cars 10 minutes before her allotted slot, but ended up going around the car park for more than an hour.

Ms McGoldrickand her partner were then called to another bay and instructed to ring one of the workers who asked if she had gloves, tissues and hand sanitiser.

She said she was not instructed prior to arrival that she had to bring these items.

Ms McGoldrick said: “It was just a shambles - it was so slow and none of the workers seemed to know what they were doing.

“They resembled more like security guards than medical personnel and it wasn’t very organised at all or run properly.

“We were there for over two hours and we didn’t take a drink or anything because we had a specific time and slot.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it came back with a lot of negative results, because I don’t think the majority of the people will have done the test right.”

The care home worker said a staff member administering the tests then told her to wind her window down, before saying ‘not to move’ or ‘try to grab the testing kit’.

Ms McGoldrick said: “She threw the kit, gloves and tissue onto my knees and asked me to park up again.

“I then had to do the test myself reading the instruction which was confusing. I don’t think I swabbed myself properly.

“I didn’t know I would be having to do the test myself and I was slightly worried at this point.

“I felt like it was very unprofessional and I don’t think there is enough support for people.”

A spokesman for the Department for Health and Social Care, said: “There has been significant demand for testing at our Doncaster site.

“It is great so many essential workers want to get tested and get back to work to help the national effort against coronavirus.

“We quickly expand testing capacity in Yorkshire, with a new regional testing site in Bradford which opened this week.

"We are also working hard to implement new processes to better manage the capacity for appointments since the introduction of our digital portal, and are pursuing rebooking those who have been unable to attend their appointments for subsequent days.”