Leading not for profit care provider MHA has revealed that almost half of its staff and residents who tested positive for COVID-19 were asymptomatic.
The results show that 42% of staff and almost 44% of residents who tested positive were asymptomatic.
Commenting on the findings from 86 care homes MHA CEO Sam Monaghan said: “It is not difficult to imagine that a lot of people may not have ended up dying if we’d had earlier testing and we’d been therefore better able to manage infection control in our homes.
“I think it’s very difficult not to see that the only real way that this can have come into our homes is through staff picking it up, just through the community contacts they would have had. We lobbied right from the outset that routine testing was going to be absolutely vital in terms of us managing and doing effective infection control in our homes. The government still isn’t offering that.
“What does it say to the valuable people who work and live in care settings that it’s ‘premature’ to test them weekly when Premiership footballers are being offered a test, not once, but twice a week?”
Research based on anonymised data provided by Person Centred Software earlier this week revealed that almost two-thirds of care homes had had no staff tested for COVID-19 as of May 27 despite the government’s pledge to have all residents and staff tested by early June.
A Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Our priority is to ensure care workers and those receiving care are protected, and the latest statistics show over 60% of care homes have had no outbreak at all.
“We’ve set out a comprehensive support package for residents and staff, including a £600m infection control fund, testing regardless of whether you have symptoms, and a named clinical lead to support every care home.
“We recognise more must continue to be done, and have made £3.2bn available to local authorities to address additional pressures from coronavirus.”