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Minister under fire over care home test result times

The care minister has conceded that the time it takes for care home staff to get coronavirus test results has ‘not been what we would have liked them to be’.

Speaking in parliament yesterday (6 October), Helen Whately was quizzed by the co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Adult Social Care, Helen Hayes on the delays faced by some care providers on getting staff test results back to them.

Ms Hayes said some providers are ‘still experiencing delays in receiving weekly test results, still have no routine access to weekly testing for domiciliary care workers or staff working in supported living environments’ and urgently need regular testing for family members.

‘When will the care sector have all the access to testing that it needs on a reliable basis to stop the second wave of coronavirus delivering the utter tragedy and devastation of the first to the care sector?,’ she asked the minister.

Ms Whately replied that ‘supporting care homes through the pandemic and in the months ahead is absolutely our, and my, priority’.

‘We are getting regular repeat testing to care homes,’ said the minister. ‘ I acknowledge that the turnaround times have not been what we would have liked them to be, but those turnaround times are coming down and we are seeing a rapid improvement in performance.’

It comes after the leader of Portsmouth City Council claimed nearly a third of Covid-19 test results for care home staff in its care homes are not being returned.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson has written a letter to Boris Johnson informing him that 30% of Covid-19 tests for care home staff in Portsmouth City Council care homes are not having a result sent back.

Photo Credit – Jarmoluk (Pixabay)

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