A Hunter disability support worker is still waiting for a COVID-19 test result from Laverty Pathology, more than a week after he was swabbed.
- Some Hunter residents are missing work and medical appointments after waiting days for COVID-19 test results
- Laverty Pathology says some tests are being sent interstate
- Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper fears wait times will deter people from getting tested
Craig Papworth has joined a chorus of Hunter residents incensed over prolonged wait times, leading to financial loss, growing anxiety and even cancelled vaccination appointments.
The Lake Macquarie resident was deemed a secondary contact of a COVID-19 case by NSW Health and immediately presented himself for testing at Gateshead to ensure the safety of his immunocompromised clients.
But after waiting several days and hearing nothing back, Mr Papworth started to panic.
“I want to look after myself, look after my family, and look after the clients I support.”
Eventually, he went to a different testing site and was swabbed by another company — receiving his negative result within 24 hours and putting his mind at rest.
He still hasn’t received his result from Laverty, seven days after he was tested.
Maryland man Mark Sinclair said he had also been given the run-around by Laverty Pathology.
After having his initial vaccination cancelled due to the redistribution of Pfizer doses to Sydney, Mr Sinclair was forced to cancel another appointment because he did not receive his result from a Laverty swab in time to attend the appointment.
“Laverty don’t care at all,” he said.
Laverty ‘hung up on me’
Healthcare worker Danielle Jarman from Edgeworth still hasn’t received a result from Laverty, a week after her swab.
She was later prioritised for a swab at the John Hunter Hospital and received a negative result within 24 hours.
Ms Jarman found contacting Laverty via a provided phone number was impossible, which compounded her frustration.
“I was on hold for 45 minutes before it rung and it [the answering machine] hung up on me,” she said.
‘No access to help’
While the wait times for others are not as long, they can be equally agonising.
Elermore Vale single-mother Hannah Phillips, who works in hospitality at RAAF Base Williamtown, was forced to wait four days for her test results.
“It honestly turns me off wanting to get it done, because I literally have no access to help, I can’t run that risk of being stuck in my house for another four days and going without … it’s frustrating.”
Tests key to containing outbreak: MP
Many community members voiced their frustrations on the social media page of Independent MP for Lake Macquarie Greg Piper.
“I have a real concern that if people are hearing it’s taking three, four, five days or longer in a few examples to get a result back, they might not go and get a test,” he said.
Mr Piper said he contacted the CEO of Laverty Pathology, who apologised for the delays and said some tests were being sent interstate.
A Hunter New England Local Health District spokesperson said concerns regarding Laverty should be referred directly to the company.
“Laverty Pathology testing clinics are independent, privately-run services. All operational requirements for the clinics are managed by Laverty,” the spokesperson said.
Laverty Pathology did not respond to the ABC’s requests for comment.