Testing Centre Struggles To Cope With Demand in Chiswick

Largest ever vaccination event organised at Twickenham this Monday

Hounslow's Director of Public Health, Kelly O'Neill, at Twickenham Stadium
Hounslow's Director of Public Health, Kelly O'Neill, at Twickenham Stadium

Chiswick residents responding to the instruction to get a Covid-19 test to help have encountered difficulties getting tested.

Hounslow and Ealing borough residents are being asked to take a PCR test even without symptoms as these boroughs are surge testing as they are trying to find the prevalence of the Indian variant locally.

The testing centre at Stamford Brook Car Park (W4 1NH) near Welstead Way met with overwhelming demand with over 300 people reported to be queueing and waits of over two hours common. Although the wait time appears to have been reduced later in the week, the waits remain significant.

Queues have stretched along the road and when residents finally reached what they thought was the end when they entered the car park they were disappointed to be met with further delays.

Others who waited in the queues were also disappointed that the mobile phone notification given to request them to get tested at the centre did not fully inform them of the information they need to bring.

The centre is run by the NHS testing team based in Brent and not Hounslow Council. Local councillor John Todd has escalated a complaint about waiting times at the centre and additional marshals have been deployed to the location.

When home testing kits are available staff at the centre, which is open daily from 8am to 8pm have been handing out home testing kits. The centre offers a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test is a swab test that goes to a laboratory for testing. A PCR test is the only way to accurately identify coronavirus and new variants.

If you are intending to go to this centre to get a test you are advised to walk as there is limited parking in the vicinity.

Reports suggest that if you travel to Hounslow House for a test, waiting times are minimal.

Residents of Hounslow and Ealing also quality for free home PCR test kits which can be ordered online.

On Bank Holiday Monday, Twickenham Rugby Stadium will be turned into the biggest vaccination venue so far with up to 15,000 vaccinations ready to be administered on the day.

This vaccination event, Let’s Tackle Covid, will give eligible residents the opportunity to have their first dose of the vaccination without delay. This is in response to an increase in the number of cases of coronavirus in the area.

The event will take place from 10am to 8pm and you are advised to bring water with you as it is expected to be hot on Monday. You can register for the event by clicking here.

If you have one, remember to bring your NHS number with you. This makes registration faster if you have it. You can find your NHS number here.

Some car parking spaces are available at Rosebine Car Park (entry via A316/Chertsey Road). Disabled parking bays and pickup/drop-off points are located at Twickenham Stadium (entry via Rugby Road).

You can walk in without an appointment but if you want to guarantee a slot and reduce your waiting time register in advance.

Pippa Nightingale, Chief Nurse, NW London said. “We know we are finally due some lovely weather on Monday but if you are eligible and you haven’t had your vaccine yet, we encourage you to take some time out of your day and come and see us. I want to thank Hounslow Council and the RFU for their brilliant support. Let’s tackle covid!”

Kelly O’Neill, Director of Public Health, Hounslow Council said, “Getting the vaccine is the single most important step we can take to protect ourselves, our families and our communities against COVID-19 and we encourage all our local community to have their vaccine as soon as they are eligible. Let’s tackle covid!”

Twickenham Stadium Venue Director Mark Lynch said: “We are proud to have supported the NHS for over a year during the pandemic, first with a test centre in Twickenham Stadium car park and now to set up this mass vaccination facility in record time. It’s taken less than a week to turn around and I’d like to thank all 600 stadium and NHS employees involved for their hard work to make this happen. Like rugby clubs across the country, we feel it’s important for us to us to do our bit to support our local communities.”

The event is being organised by local NHS in partnership with Hounslow Council and supported by England RFU.”

Currently people aged 30 and over can book a covid vaccination through the NHS website and people aged 34 or over can visit one of the large walk in centres without an appointment to receive their first dose only. The availability of a vaccine is not guaranteed to anyone who turns up without an appointment. Local centres are at the Brentford Fountain Leisure Centre, CP House in Ealing and the Novotel London in Hammersmith and they are open from 9am to 7pm.

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May 30, 2021