EXACTLY how many people have been using the new testing facility at Creekmoor Park & Ride will not be released by the Department of Health & Social Care.

The Government department says it is not publishing figures for individual testing sites, but says Creekmoor sits alongside a "rapidly expanding network of testing sites being set up around the UK" and is part of the "drive to increase testing for thousands more NHS and other key workers."

Creekmoor has been operating for almost two weeks now, and people using the facility have to pre-book a time slot.

One key worker who was tested there, who asked not to be named, said: "Basically you drive in and everything is done in your car.

"It didn't seem busy at all, but I don't think you'd get queues as it is all done by appointment."

The Bournemouth resident said he was asked to turn off his engine at one of the manned checkpoints, where he phoned a worker from his car who explained the procedure.

"I was asked if I was OK performing the swab test on myself, before picking up a pack from one of the guys – who passed it through my slightly opened passenger door window – then I went to another bay.

"It was pretty self explanatory, but if you have an issue you hit your hazard lights and someone comes to help.

"I saw another person doing this, and the worker, all in protective gear comes to the window and they talk via mobile phone."

The only time you open you window is to pick up the testing pack, then drop it off in a sealed bin afterwards.

"One thing that surprised me was I started to gag a bit when taking the swab of my throat," said the key worker. "I was a bit self conscious at this point and looked around and saw the woman in the bay next to me was also gagging a bit when she was taking the swab. We had a bit of a laugh about it though."

There are now 49 regional test sites across the UK

On the Creekmoor site, joint chief executive for The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals, Debbie Flemming, said: "It will enable us to significantly increase the number of tests that we can provide locally, which will in turn assist all agencies in getting key staff back to work swiftly and safely.

“It is great that all partners in Dorset have been working so well together, alongside national and regional agencies, to establish this facility as quickly as possible.”