Another Government pledge broken – Owl
Telegraph Live Coronavirus latest news: One in eight care home residents still awaiting Covid-19 tests despite Government pledge
Around one in eight care home residents are yet to be tested for coronavirus, a survey of more than 300 care homes has found, despite a Government pledge to test every resident by “early June”.
Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, announced universal testing for care homes on May 15, saying “every resident and every member of staff in our elderly care homes in England” would be tested “between now and early June”.
This new data, from the National Care Forum (NCF), which represents 120 of the UK’s social care charities, suggests the Government has missed this target.
Respondents to the NCF survey said 2,318 care home staff (9 per cent of the total) and 1,706 (12 per cent) residents in England are still awaiting Covid-19 tests.
This is despite all homes with residents over 65 having been offered testing, and could be due to struggles to access tests and staff absences.
The members NCF surveyed employ 24,681 staff and support 14,213 residents in 332 care homes.
The results, covering from early May to June 25, show about 445 staff (3 per cent) and 767 residents (8 per cent) tested positive. Of these, 53 per cent of staff (239) and 30 per cent of residents (233) were asymptomatic.
The NCF said this is a “vital indication of the need for routine and repeat testing in care homes to manage the risk of transmission”.