A council leader has branded thirty-seven people who failed to show up for booked coronavirus tests as “selfish” – with people across the country desperate for limited slots.
The no-shows were among just 200 to secure bookings at the testing centre at sports complex Fenton Manor in Stoke-on-Trent on Monday and Tuesday.
All the slots had been taken within half an hour on Saturday much is the demand – but council staff were shocked when a sixth didn’t turn up.
As a result, thirteen bookings were dished out to NHS workers, as well as school staff and pupils, but two dozen went to waste.
Following the fiasco, Stoke residents who need to cancel their tests are being urged to follow the instructions on their email booking.
Council leader Abi Brown said to see so many no-shows who hadn’t even cancelled their bookings was “really disappointing”, describing the people as “selfish”.
She told StokeonTrentLive : “We had 37 no-shows over the two days, although we did manage to redirect a number of tests to our partners in the NHS and schools.
“However, it’s really disappointing that people take a test slot and then fail to show up. Somebody else could have had that test.
“It was about 12 on both days that didn’t get redirected.”
The Conservative councillor, who was first elected in 2010 and became leader in May last year, continued: “I just think it’s really selfish.
“The tests were all booked up within 15 to 30 minutes so the demand is high but for them to take the tests and not turn up is not very civic minded.”
It has not yet been confirmed whether the testing centre – set up to assist national testing in the area – will continue to operate next week.
Some residents had complained that they didn’t know how to cancel their booked test.
A council spokesman said: “We’ve been reviewing arrangements and listening to feedback.
“If we are able to secure more tests next week – and we hope that we can continue to operate this facility until the capacity on the national system improves – we want people to tell us if they can’t make their appointment.
“Details of how to cancel are issued on their test email confirmation and we will continue to improve arrangements to cancel the appointment.
“We are also speaking to those who didn’t show up to understand the reasons why,” he added.