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Those working for CQC registered providers will receive weekly PCR tests to administer at home, which will help identify more asymptomatic cases and protect care users who are more vulnerable to the virus.
All registered home care agencies will be contacted with details of how to apply for test kits for their care workers next week.
Home care agencies are responsible for ordering and distributing tests to all home care workers for them to conduct at home on a weekly basis, testing on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. This approach will maximise the capacity available in all laboratories.
A month’s worth of test kits will be delivered to care providers directly who can distribute tests to their staff using the same channels used to distribute PPE.
‘Home care workers have not been able to access the same level of testing as their colleagues working in care homes’
Minister for Care, Helen Whately said: “Home care workers have been doing an incredible job throughout the pandemic, caring day in and day out and going the extra mile to keep people they care for safe from COVID.
“As our testing capacity continues to expand, I’m glad we’re able to take this next step and make regular testing available to homecare workers. Now, as well as having PPE, home care workers will be able to take a weekly test to check they don’t have Coronavirus.
To read the full story visit the homecare.co.uk website.
The chief executive of United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) has criticised the government over the lack of testing and costs of PPE, accusing them of being ‘disinterested in the 715,000’ care workers during the pandemic.
In her open letter to Stuart Miller, director of Adult Social Care Delivery at the Department for Health and Social Care, Dr Jane Townson expresses her concerns with the lack of information to home care providers and how she is ‘frustrated by the focus of politicians on care homes,’ saying the only message for home care providers was to ‘follow government guidance on PPE’.
Her letter is in response to the missive from the Department for Health and Social Care warning care providers that the UK is experiencing a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases.
She states: ‘If the government is serious about minimising the spread of COVID19 among the care workforce and those they support in communities, it needs to fully fund the cost of PPE for care workers and ensure there is availability and accessibility of antigen testing as required for the home care workforce as well as for those in care homes.’
Dr Townson has asked the government for an explanation into lack of testing after reports by officials to meetings UKHCA had attended made it clear ‘inadequate laboratory capacity for testing’ is the reason for a lower prioritisation of testing in homecare.
The government said UK laboratory daily testing capacity was more than 370,000 last week
She added routine testing is not available for home care workers in areas where there are lockdowns and it was ‘unacceptable’ some areas are ‘experiencing a fast and efficient service’ for testing while others are being directed hundreds of miles away and having to ‘wait days for results’.
For the full story visit the homecare.co.uk website.