The site opened Tuesday in Plymouth Medical and Technology Park and will initially test key personnel who will self-isolate.
The NHS says the goal is to get staff back to work as quickly as possible to reduce pressure on their colleagues.
The city council site next to the Future Inn and The Range on the main A386 Tavistock is approximately one mile from Derriford Hospital.
Among the first to be tested are staff working in critical care, A&E, ambulance services, general surgeries and social care who self-isolate.
The center is not open to the public. The NHS says staff are identified for testing and that all visits should be booked in advance without any authorized appointments.
A statement said, “The initial testing capacity is 150 employees per day, increasing to 250 per day at the end of the week.
“This will quickly expand the reach of the original priority groups to other staff, including back-office and support teams who play a crucial role in maintaining services.”
“More drive-through service centers will be installed in the southwest in April.”
Dr. Julie Yates, public health consultant and head of staff testing at NHS England and NHS Improvement in the South West, said: “This is a crucial step in increasing our ability to cope with Covid-19.
“It will help staff get back to where they want to be – to care for patients – rather than getting stuck needlessly at home.”
“We know the South West has fewer cases of lust than London and other parts of the country, but the number is increasing.
“The test center will help us make the most of the extra time to prepare, to boost the levels of staff in our hospitals and community teams.”
“We are extremely grateful to Plymouth City Council for providing the site and for mobilizing to prepare it in such a short time. The level of support has been exemplary. “
The William Prance Road Center, on the site of the former Seaton Barracks, is part of a network that is being set up across the country as the government moves forward with plans for a steep increase in testing. for health workers.
Plymouth City Council chief Tudor Evans said, “Our staff – from legal negotiators to site clean-up crews – have worked at breakneck speed to prepare this site.
“This facility will play such a crucial role in the fight against coronaviruses and we were delighted to play a small but very important role in providing this site. “
Last week, Secretary of Health Matt Hancock announced a target of 100,000 tests per day in England by the end of April.
This has resulted in criticism of the government for not increasing the number of tests quickly enough.
Hancock said 35,000 NHS staff members were absent from work because they or a family member had symptoms of coronavirus.
There have been calls from NHS workers to increase testing so that they can return to work if they can be sure they are not infected.
On weekends, swab tests to find out if the virus had reached 10,000 people a day, primarily for patients.
A swab from the nose or throat is taken and sent for analysis to a laboratory for signs of the virus.
The NHS says you should not leave your home if you have the following symptoms
- High temperature – it means you feel warm to the touch on your chest or back (you don’t need to measure your temperature)
- A new cough continues – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
If you have these symptoms, the NHS says, “To protect others, don’t go to places like general surgery, a pharmacy, or a hospital. Stay at home.
“Use the online coronavirus 111 service to find out what to do. “
The government aims to increase the rate to 25,000 per day for patients and frontline NHS staff by the end of April, using the laboratories of the NHS and Public Health England.
The increase in testing is part of a “five-pillar” strategy announced by the health secretary to reach the goal of 100,000 tests per day.
The five points of the government’s plan are:
- swab tests – to check if people already have the virus – in laboratories managed by Public Health England;
- using business partners such as universities and private companies such as Amazon and Boots to conduct more swab tests;
- new blood tests for antibodies to see if people have had the virus;
- surveillance to identify the rate of infection and spread;
- build a diagnostic industry with the help of pharmaceutical companies.