A DORSET GP company has clocked up 15,000 Covid tests for eager travellers in one year after having a state-of-the-art website built to cope with demand.

The company, Dorset Private GP, turned to creative agency Milk & Tweed after realising its existing website couldn’t cope with the number of people trying to book tests before using air travel.

Now, the bespoke online system is helping with the surge in demand for PCR tests prompted by the government’s latest change in travel rules.

Clinic manager Melissa Middleton said the company, which uses a drive-in site near Bournemouth Airport to collect swabs, initially had to wait for result documents to come back before manually uploading them to its system, attaching them to emails before finally sending them out.

She said: “That was very time-consuming when we had 100 results to upload in one go. We needed a more automated solution that was also reliable and secure.

“We needed something that was more creative and efficient so we laid out to Milk & Tweed what we ideally wanted and what they came up with was fantastic.

Bournemouth Echo: Dorset Private GP website designed by Milk & TweedDorset Private GP website designed by Milk & Tweed

“We had to send out 56 tests one morning, which took less than an hour – before it would have taken us four times as long.”

As well as test bookings, the site has the latest guidelines and requirements for travellers. More than 40,000 people have accessed the information since the site went live in September 2020.

Ms Middleton also said the latest rule changes had heralded a rapid increase in test bookings. She added: “The bookings are still crazy and every minute another test is booked.

“We found out about the latest rule change at the same time as everyone else.”

Jon Ladd, Milk & Tweed’s head of operations and support, said the project has notched up more than 800 hours of work, including the original design and adding extra functions such as a corporate booking section and automated reporting to Public Health England.

He said: “It’s ever-evolving, we started off just doing a couple of tests but now the site is booking day two and day eight PCR tests, lateral flow, fast-track PCR, Fit To Fly tests and rapid anti-gen tests.

“The site has also had to be made extra-secure because it contains patient data and passport numbers. It has been a really enjoyable project to work on and we believe the system is so efficient it could be used in other medical settings, for things like flu jabs and blood tests.”

Visit dorsetprivategp.co.uk for more information.