Where to get lateral flow tests in Barking, Dagenham and Redbridge

Self-testing lateral flow kits are available for free from the NHS website

There are a number of places you can collect NHS Covid-19 lateral flow test kits amid a delivery backlog. - Credit: PA

People in Barking, Dagenham and Redbridge have reportedly been unable to order lateral flow tests (LFTs) from the government website due to "exceptionally high demand".

However, the prime minister and health secretary have insisted there is no national shortage of tests, instead blaming delivery capacity.

Yesterday- December 13 - the government website advised anyone looking to order rapid coronavirus tests to "try again later" or to book an appointment at a test site instead.

A spokesman for the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the message was being shown as deliveries had been paused to "fulfil existing orders".

In a statement to the House of Commons, health secretary Sajid Javid explained the problems were linked to delivery capacity, adding new arrangements had been reached with Amazon and others.

Mr Javid said: “There is no shortage of actual tests that are held by UKHSA. There are tens of millions of tests.

"The issue — the limiting factor because of the hugely increased demand — is the ability to deliver the tests and having enough capability to deliver the tests because the current arrangements with Royal Mail alone are not enough.

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“There are new arrangements that I’ve reached with Amazon and other delivery methods.”

Prime minister Boris Johnson also sought to reassure people that the government had enough lateral flow tests, saying there was a "ready supply". 

“If you can’t get one online for any reason, then there are ample supplies in the shops," he said.

“But what I think, if I may say so, what that also shows is that people are doing the sensible thing, and getting tests as well.”

The suspension came less than 24 hours after an announcement that daily testing would be mandatory for people who are double-jabbed and come into contact with someone who has coronavirus.

There are sites in Barking, Dagenham and Redbridge where people can collect home LFT kits, including numerous pharmacies.

People with no symptoms can also get tested at locations including Barking Learning Centre, Dagenham Library and Redbridge Central Library in Ilford without needing to book.

Visit maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/#/ for a full list of places you can get an LFT.