A TEENAGER contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service is struggling to book a coronavirus test.

Bhasvic student Alex Swift has tried twice to book a test at the testing centre at the Withdean sports complex, in Brighton, without success.

He was exposed to the Covid-19 virus after attending a small 18th birthday party in Hangleton linked to four confirmed cases.

Three of those who have tested positive for the virus attend Newman College, the sixth form centre at Cardinal Newman Catholic School, and the other attends Bhasvic (Brighton, Hove And Sussex VI Form College).

The teenager’s mother Jacqui Swift, 48, said that her son tried to get a test at Withdean on Thursday at 4pm but was told that the testing centre was closing.

When he tried again on Friday at 12.30pm, he was told: “We don’t do drop-ins now.”

Mrs Swift said: “I’ve been on the government website all day and it just crashes at the point it is meant to list sites.

“I’m also trying via the Covid app as I’ve been reporting our readings every day through lockdown and a friend said they sent kits out. But no response.

“My son is now in isolation for two weeks.

“We are not, as we sought advice off the website and email and have not been in contact with anyone or shown symptoms though trying to get a test too.”

At Withdean at 2.30pm on Friday the centre was almost empty, with just one car seen at the site for a test.

When the Amex testing centre, in Falmer, opened in April cars could be seen queuing along the access road to the stadium car park.

Mrs Swift said: “I’m annoyed that we are told to go for a test but can’t actually get one.

“The nurse at Withdean told us they’d had technical problems yesterday but it’s working today – which it isn’t.”

At the Brighton and Hove City Council Health and Wellbeing Board meeting on Tuesday, Green councillor Sue Shanks spoke about access to tests.

She cited cases of people from Brighton and Hove being directed miles away – to the Isle of Wight and South Wales – for tests.

The council’s executive director for the economy, environment and culture Nick Hibberd said that the council was looking at potential sites.

It was, he said, sending details to the Department of Health and Social Care which is responsible for approving testing sites.

At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday Boris Johnson said that people could obtain an “in person” test result within 24 hours within ten miles of their home.