Plans for a significant ramping up of coronavirus testing have been announced by the government.
Health & Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock (pictured) pledged to carry out 100,000 coronavirus tests every day by the end of the month.
The government’s ‘5-pillar plan’ includes scaling up testing for critical key workers in the NHS before expanding to key workers in other sectors.
Mr Hancock said the plan was for a “successful test” that can be rolled out at scale to allow critical workers and then the wider population to return to work and their daily lives.
Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO of Care England, told CHP it was “vital” that the testing programme was rolled out into the social care sector.
Martin said: “Residents in social care are all in high risk categories for COVID-19 and we need testing so that we know which residents are COVID-19 positive. We also need testing for staff, so that people can return to work as quickly as possible.
“If the government does not prioritise social care as well as the NHS, hospitals will be full of people who could’ve been effectively managed in the community.”
Nadra Ahmed OBE, executive chairman of the National Care Association, added: “The impact of self- isolation guidance has had an enormous impact on staffing for social care providers. Our primary responsibility is to keep both staff and residents safe in the face of adversity so testing would have been a key to avoiding some of the challenges we face. Appropriate testing would ensure that staff could return to work safely. It’s a shame that we are still not a priority group for this but at least we are on the list!”