Government under fire over care home testing programme

Covid TEST

Social care leaders have described the government’s COVID-19 testing programme as “chaotic” and “inadequate” and called for 200,000 checks per day across the sector.

The government has pledged to test all care home residents and staff by early June as it has ramped up its national programme but leaders have warned that the current rate of testing is “inadequate”.

Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the National Care Forum, said: “There are currently 30,000 tests available to care homes, which equates to 300 care home per day receiving tests. This is in no way near enough the amount of tests required for the care sector.

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“We need to see at least 200,000 routine and regular tests each day in the care sector alone. The speed and quality of the testing process is currently a postcode lottery and doesn’t appear to be based on need. Some of our members are being told they won’t be tested until 6 June which is much too late.”

An NCF survey of its members who employ 43,152 staff and look after 16,420 residents in care homes found that only 3,466 staff and 4,619 residents were tested between 23 April and 14 May.

Problems with the testing process have also arisen with results taking between 24 hours and six days, while a large number of test results are returning ‘void’ or ‘inconclusive’ owing to delays in obtaining results or faulty tests.

Four Seasons CEO, Jeremy Richardson, earlier this week told the Today programme that testing measures taken by the government were “inadequate”.

Jeremy said: “We need to see this testing rolled out on a regular basis. There are 1.4 million people, give or take, working in social care and all of those people needed to be tested every week.

“The 200,000 tests per day that the government has announced really should be deployed on that basis only into social care.

“But of course you have to test the rest of the country as well so the government needs to scale up testing dramatically.

“Because at the moment the testing isn’t adequate and to simply do a single-point test one would have to question whether that is a benefit to us as the operator or to the government for their statistics.”


Tags : Coronavirus

The author Lee Peart

1 Comment

  1. But this is only part of the problems, even though it is a substantial part, for the care profession is much more than Care Homes, for there is Home Care, Supported Living, Hospices, Respite, etc.

    This Government does not have a clue or is it they do not care, for they have done over the last 11 years virtually nothing for the care profession and the care workers. But then neither have many of the previous Governments be they Labour or Conservative, for the Care Profession appear to be the forgotten profession, by not only the Government, but also a large proportion of the Media.

    This has to stop for sooner or later there will not be any care profession to speak of and Family Carers, who are unpaid, are already saving the UK more than £130 billion, will not be able to do more. In fact Family Carers are also under tremendous stress, for they also are not sufficiently recognised by this Government and many Local Authorities.

    This is shown by the Coronavirus Act which was rushed through Parliament earlier this years, in which the Care Act 2014 and some legislation relating to children was suspended in order to remove many of the legal requirements Local Authorities had to family carers and the persons in their families who are in need of care.

    This is our, so called, Caring Government, for Caring, they do not even know the meaning of it.
    For Social Care is in Crisis and has been for many years, but the last 11 years of Tory Governments and COVID-19 could be the final straw.

    Please see and for further information!Aq2MsYduiazgnXvxtLLaA0zEvBa2?e=vsaHcG

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