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Care home testing problems

August 1, 2020 2:15 PM
hezl (Photo by Claudia van Zyl on Unsplash)Sky News reported that the UK's largest independent provider of social care says it no longer has access to regular testing for staff and residents because of an issue with a supplier used by the government.
In a letter leaked letter, Care UK chief executive Andrew Knight says there will be a minimum of five weeks before the firm is able to access another round of testing for most of its homes in England.

"We have been notified by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) that due to an issue with a particular test from one supplier, we will no longer have access to weekly testing for colleagues or monthly testing for residents", says the care boss in a letter to residents.

"Communication from the government on this matter has been sorely lacking", he adds.

"I am sure many of you will find this situation as disappointing as I do, especially given the positive messages the government is still issuing
about the scale of the testing programme it is supposedly offering.
The five week delay relates only to asymptomatic testing of staff and residents; regular tests for those with COVID-19 symptoms were still available with no wait.

Responding to a leaked letter from Care UK showing that they no longer have access to regular testing for staff and residents, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Munira Wilson said:

If we needed any evidence that this Government is still throwing care homes to the wolves, then this is it. From the very beginning of the pandemic this Government failed to ensure care homes had access to adequate testing and PPE, whilst discharging patients with the virus into their homes.

This letter is damning. With a potential second peak on the horizon, the UK's largest provider of social care no longer having access to regular testing for staff and residents will leave thousands of our most vulnerable exposed to coronavirus.

The Prime Minister and his Government are not learning the lessons they need to if we are to prevent more people losing their lives. An inquiry into the Government's handling of the coronavirus crisis must begin now, so Ministers can learn from their errors and help protect families right across the country from more heartache