A KEY worker has branded the coronavirus testing programme farcical as he described the system as broke.

This photograph shows a queue snaking around the pop-up centre in Cecil Street, Bury.

The Government's testing programme has been labelled a shambles, with people saying they have had to travel close to a 100 miles for a test in other parts of Greater Manchester.

The key worker told The Bury Times, he experienced problems from logging on to the site to book an appointment up to getting a result.

He said: "The official NHS site was appalling, I went through the whole process on Thursday only to be told the nearest centre was in Oldham.

"I went online for the Oldham appointment slots only to be told they were full that day,

"I was the option to book for the next day, only to be told there were none available then.

"If it wasn't for my lovely brother-in-law I would not have known about the no appointment centre in Cecil Street.

"The queue was almost three hours long, when you get in you have to do the test yourself.

"I could not read the instructions because I had not brought my reading glasses and was under the impression, as it was a pop-up medical centre, a nurse would administer the test.

"I asked an assistant what I was supposed to do and she gave me abrupt instructions to just put the swab on my tonsils and up my nose ­— despite a board detailing more steps than that.

"When I got home I had to register for my test results and add the postcode of that particular testing centre. The system would not accept that postcode.

"The menu only allowed for other test centres that I had not even been at.

"As a keyworker I was advised per Government guidelines not to go into work until I got test results back but 48 hours later and nearly a hour on the phone I have heard nothing.

"If I don't find out tomorrow I will have a third day off work, which will put added pressure on my colleagues.

"There will many people who will be in the same situation as me but will not be paid or furloughed for those missed . The system's infrastructure cannot cope and it is only going to get worse as more people get colds with the change in season.

"The Government promised quick turnaround in tests but that has not materialised and people are being forced to stay in which will have a detrimental effect on their mental.

"It is so draining I've done everything I'm supposed to do and it just a farce."

New testing centres are due to open in Bury, say the local authority