MPs have criticised a "failing" testing system which saw residents heading to A&E for coronavirus tests.

Chris Green, the elected official for Bolton West, called for more action to fight the number of confirmed cases "rocketing up", and warned that the worsening situation in the borough was having a “devastating impact on people’s physical and mental health”.

He told the Commons: “Many people are heading out of the borough to get their beauty treatments, go to the pubs and restaurants.

“At the same time the testing system is failing to deliver so people are increasingly going to accident and emergency in Bolton and Wigan in the hope of getting a Covid test.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the government had put "huge amounts" of testing into Bolton, with almost 7,000 tests carried out in the last week.

He reiterated the plea for people to not visit A&E for a test, and praised the Royal Bolton Hospital for their hard work.

He said: “People should not go to A&E to access a test, I’ve seen that was being reported yesterday and my team have been working with the hospital – who are doing a very good job in difficult circumstances.

“They are seeing the number of hospital admissions with coronavirus starting to rise.”

As of 9am yesterday, 32 people were being treated at the hospital for coronavirus.

Mr Hancock also urged every resident to follow the guidance.

He added: "The situation in Bolton is very difficult, with over 200 cases per 100,000 population, the highest in the country by a long, long way and we’ve got a lot of work to do to get the situation under control.

"All the people in Bolton should listen to the public health advice, that way we'll be able to get this most localised of epidemics under control."