THE Test and Trace system has been branded “a disaster” by a topSussex health official.

Darrell Gale is the East Sussex Director of Public Health.

He criticised the effectiveness of the Test and Trace Service during a live Facebook Q&A.

He said: “Throughout the last part of August and all through September, we had a disaster in the testing laboratory capacity, which meant that many of you trying to get tests could not get tests.

“Many of you trying to get tests locally were being sent to Inverness.

“When this was announced, I sat here in Lewes putting in County Hall’s postcode and was offered a test in Inverness.

“I just thought ‘this can’t be real’. Two weeks later that was still happening.

“I was testing it every day.”

Mr Gale said tests had also gone missing, saying his own partner’s test results had never been returned despite being sent in mid-August.

He also implied “nationally imposed rationing” of testing had gone on during this period.

He said: “I am deeply sceptical about some of the things that have happened, but there has been some good news in that some of that testing capacity has improved.

“For the last two weeks, we have not had any nationally-imposed rationing of the tests slots, so all those testing locations should be filled now.

“No-one is turning on and off the tap nationally based just on an algorithm now.”