DORSET MPs have called on the government to "move faster" and ratchet up coronavirus testing sites in the conurbation as issues continue with the online booking system.

Residents have said they are still not being given the option to get a test at the Creekmoor drive-through facility.

As reported, a senior official at NHS Test and Trace said the service is facing a "critical pinch-point" with laboratory testing, while other areas of the country have been seen as a priority with higher case numbers.

A mother in Wimborne, who works in the NHS, said her son has had to miss out on school since developing a symptom of coronavirus.

The 10-year-old has lost his sense of smell and, in line with government guidance, needs to get tested.

His mother, who asked to remain anonymous, said she had been logging onto the booking site since 4pm on Wednesday but was either being told no sites were available or the nearest location was in Bristol.

She is able to get a test for him through her employment, however, she is concerned that the majority of people do not have this option.

"My son is off school," she said. "Normally I would send him in as he is not that unwell but he has one of the symptoms.

"There needs to be testing available for people. They said the priority is getting kids back to school but the testing isn't there.

"After so long away from school, every hour he goes without a test is time that he is missing from his schooling. I just worry about the children's education."

Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood said addressing testing issues was a priority for government and called for more facilities in the region.

Bournemouth Echo: Tobias Ellwood, Bournemouth East MPTobias Ellwood, Bournemouth East MP

He said: "The World Health Organisation said months ago 'test, test, test'. This is the only way that you can have the necessary intelligence data to allow us to adapt to this new normal until a vaccine is procured.

"We need four or five Creekmoors [testing sites] in the area, not just one. Royal Bournemouth Hospital should have a walk-in capability and in Poole as well.

"We need to ratchet this up and it must be a priority for the government."

He added: "I can understand the frustrations, not least because government has had some time to prepare for this.

"If you want more people to be using the systems, you have to make sure supply can meet demand and we have still got a long way to go."

Poole MP Sir Robert Syms said the problem with testing needed to be resolved.

"If you take a look at the whole of the south west, there is only two people who went into hospital on Wednesday," said Sir Robert. "There is a total of 10 people in hospital. There is only one in ICU.

Bournemouth Echo: Sir Robert Syms, Poole MPSir Robert Syms, Poole MP

"I think the NHS has switched quite a lot of the capacity to the midlands and to some of the northern boroughs which are having a problem, which is partly why the test numbers are going up – they are going to find where the infections are.

"Schools have gone back and universities are about to go back, that has generated quite a lot of parents who want their children tested. I think the NHS test people are getting slightly caught out by the demand picking up and in some of the places where they haven't had much demand for tests for a few weeks.

"There is a problem in the labs, which they are trying to sort out."