Coronavirus tests needed in more than 200 Gloucestershire care homes to meet Government pledge

coronavirus tests needed in more than 200 gloucestershire care homes to meet government pledge - Coronavirus tests needed in more than 200 Gloucestershire care homes to meet Government pledge
coronavirus tests needed in more than 200 gloucestershire care homes to meet government pledge 2 - Coronavirus tests needed in more than 200 Gloucestershire care homes to meet Government pledge

The Government will need to provide coronavirus tests across more than 200 care homes in Gloucestershire, as it aims to fulfil its pledge to test all residents and staff with symptoms.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said testing was “key” in the battle against the disease, and that everyone who needed a test would have access to one.

With more than 15,000 care homes across England, the National Care Association warned there is “no room for complacency or excuses”.

The latest figures from the Care Quality Commission, which regulates care homes in England, shows there were ​226 care homes registered with them in Gloucestershire – among 2,011 across the South West.

The National Care Association, which represents care providers, said it welcomed the news after having faced “unprecedented situations” with little support so far.

The Government previously admitted that only 505 social care staff had been tested by Easter Monday .

Nadra Ahmed, executive chairman of the NCA, said: “The primary aim of care providers has always been to protect the people we care for and those who support them, our amazing workforce.

“Sadly, the lack of testing and the issues of access to personal protective equipment has made it challenging and exhausting for care services as the virus began to emerge.

“We now must be sure that the testing promised is readily and easily available for the residents and staff working in social care – there is no room for complacency or excuses.”

Separate figures from the charity Skills for Care show care homes in Gloucestershire alone employed 8,700 people in 2018-19.

Care England, a charity which represents independent providers, said it is heartening to know the Government is now listening to the sector.

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of the organisation, added: “I’m humbled to see the amazing work that the social care workers are doing round the clock and would urge anyone who thinks that a career in social care is unskilled or not a key worker to think again.”

The Skills for Care data shows the average hourly pay in a Gloucestershire County Council-run care home was just £11.31.

The Government says it has already begun testing social care workers and will roll this out nationwide in the coming days as it continues to “ramp up” the testing programme.

Patients discharged from hospital will continue to return to their care homes, but will be tested before they do so.

Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said: “Testing is key in our battle against coronavirus, and as part of our plan to prevent the spread and save lives we will ensure that everyone in social care who needs a test can have a test.”

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