NHS Confederation said on Wednesday (15) that more Covid-19 tests for social care staff is desperately needed, especially when the sector has been suffering in silence during the pandemic.
Responding to the government’s latest promise of more tests in the care sector, Dr Layla McCay, director of the NHS Confederation said: “Things are improving but the country’s testing capacity is far from where it needs to be to meet the ambition of 100,000 a day in just over two weeks – that’s over 85,000 more tests a day than what is happening now.
“We need absolute clarity from the government on how this will be achieved in such a short space of time, otherwise it will be viewed as a false promise.
“Also, if we are to understand and beat this virus we need to understand how and where it is spreading, and for the frontline to be protected. That is why the number of deaths in care homes should be released daily in the same way as they are for hospital deaths and why the workforce must be given better access to PPE.”
Currently the first five symptomatic residents in a care home setting are tested to provide confirmation of whether if there is an outbreak.
The government announced on Wednesday that all care home residents and social care staff with coronavirus symptoms will be tested as capacity is being built up.
Also, all patients discharged from hospital would be tested before going into care homes.
Social care staff who need a test will now have access to one with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to contact all 30,000 care providers in the coming days to offer tests.