The last few weeks have seen some major failures with the Covid-19 testing system in Oxford West and Abingdon.

Local residents seeking a test have been asked to travel long distances to impractical locations such as Leicester, the Isle of Wight and even Dundee so they can be tested.

This has resulted in symptomatic residents or their relatives being unable to receive a test, leaving them stressed and frustrated.

They’ve been writing to me to make that clear, and I’ve been passing on their anxieties to the Government, to demonstrate how serious this is.

Frankly, it’s a complete mess and the Government must get a grip of this problem immediately.

People need to be able to get a test promptly and locally, so we are able to keep infection rates down.

With a probable second wave approaching, every wasted second will cost lives and livelihoods, making harsher restrictions more likely.

The Government must get the basics right.

A robust test and tracing system is essential to combatting a second wave of this virus. It surely must be a top priority.

But this is also about trust.

It is incredibly important the test and trace system commands the trust of the public ahead of a likely second wave in the winter.

It is clear from my postbag and email inbox that people don’t trust the system. I’m worried that this will result in serious consequences in the coming months.

Key sectors like our schools have already lost so much to this virus.

I’ve heard from schools in my constituency who have explained to me how testing problems are affecting teaching. A lack of tests for parents means that some have been unwilling to send their children to school, and problems with teachers receiving tests has had a serious effect on staffing.

If schools are to be open, which is so important, they must be supported by a well-functioning testing system. Surely the Government saw this coming when it decided to reopen them?

Worst of all, the Conservatives are failing to grasp the urgency of this situation.

In the Commons last week, Matt Hancock repeatedly rebutted claims that the testing situation was not good enough. Testing should be an absolute priority for Government, yet they aren’t admitting there is a problem on the scale that is obvious for us all to see.

Last week, I wrote to Matt Hancock to explain my concerns with the test and trace system and express my profound disappointment at the state of the national testing system.

The Government must act with haste to improve the situation, before it’s simply too late.