The family of a baby dependant on an oxygen supply have had to send one of their sons to live with his grandparents after he displayed coronavirus symptoms and they were unable to book a test for him for three days.

Sophie and Alby Towers – parents to Maylee, Mayson and Brynlee – have been frantically trying everything in their power to book a Covid-19 test for their nine-year-old son since he began displaying symptoms on Saturday.

Little Maylee, who is nine months old, was born with complex conditions which means she cannot survive without a constant supply of oxygen so the need for a coronavirus test felt even more crucial for the family.

Mrs Towers, from Brigham, explained: “Mayson started with symptoms on Saturday so immediately we took him to my mam's.

“Then my mam rang me on Monday and said he’s lost his sense of smell.”

Mrs Towers went to the Government website to book a test online but could not find one.

She then took to calling her doctor, explaining how ill her daughter is, but they were unable to help.

The school were also unable to assist.

After three days of desperately trying to get Mayson a test, Mrs Towers managed to get one in Kirkconnel – nearly 100 miles away.

“I put a status out on Facebook because we were so desperate,” added Mrs Towers. “Just as they were about to set off for the test I got a phone call from a friend to say they’d managed to get us one at Whitehaven.”

The whole situation has been extremely stressful for the family, who had to send their child to live with his grandparents.

Mrs Towers said: “My dad is 70, he has type 2 diabetes, I feel awful because I’ve put him at risk as well. But I have to protect Maylee and, in his eyes, he’s had his life, she’s only just starting and because she’s on a ventilator if she was to catch something she wouldn’t stand a chance. I’ve had to be selfish and put my mam and dad at risk to think about my daughter.

"It’s not a nice situation to be in and I’m just lucky I have family who can help.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “It is disappointing to hear of someone having a poor experience accessing testing. NHS Test and Trace is working, our capacity is the highest it has ever been but we are seeing a significant demand for tests.

“New booking slots and home-testing kits are made available daily for people with symptoms and we are targeting testing capacity at the areas that need it most, including those where there is an outbreak, and prioritising at-risk groups.

"Our laboratories are processing more than a million tests a week and we recently announced new facilities and technology to process results even faster.”

A spokesman for Cumbria County Council said: “Testing is run nationally by the Department of Health and Social Care.

"Across the country demand for testing has increased and work is going on at a national level to increase the availability of testing.

"We understand that this is causing difficulty for some people and are stressing this to Government.

"Locally, to support the safe opening of schools, we have made arrangements to allow schools to refer pupils for tests at local NHS facilities, usually only available to NHS staff and patients, and are working to establish additional public testing sites.”