Two-thirds (62%) of care homes have not had any staff members tested for COVID-19, new research has found.
The analysis was conducted The Data Analysis Bureau (T-DAB) and is based on anonymised data from Person Centred Software covering the period from 18 March to 27 May.
The research found that just 9% of care home staff have been tested for the virus since the government pledged on 15 May to test every resident and staff member in care homes in England by early June.
Similarly, just one in ten care home residents were tested over the same period.
During the seven days up to 27 May, 6% of care home staff and residents were tested. The research found that 15% of care home staff had been tested since the start of the pandemic.
Jonathan Papworth, co-founder and director of Person Centred Software, told CHP: The impact of COVID-19 in care homes is reaching mainstream media, both in the papers and on TV. As a result, public confidence in social care could be eroded as the public consider residential care homes to be unsafe. The sector desperately needs to fill the voids left by the high mortality in recent weeks, and yet admissions figures are still below normal, creating almost 10% reduction in occupancy.
“The governments test and track initiative is unproven, and there are mixed messages being received by some care homes about the effectiveness of testing. The government has recognised that with 70% of care homes still operating paper based record keeping, there are no processes in place to collate the impact of COVID-19 effectively without burdening care providers with additional administration. Digital care systems such as Mobile Care Monitoring, provide a test and track capability as well as collating accurate statistics without burdening our incredibly valuable carers. In addition, they provide the evidence of quality care that is likely to be an important element in helping to rebuild public confidence in residential social care.”