A new online portal was launched early May as all staff and residents at care homes are eligible for coronavirus testing. Coronavirus test kits can be arranged to be delivered through the new portal. Priority is given to homes that specifically care for those that are over 65 years old, as national testing has been increased.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said:
“The additional testing capacity we have achieved delivers many thousands of tests a day for residents and staff in care homes.
“This new portal allows those who book tests for staff and residents to do so even more easily, and it also offers a route for the prioritisation of care homes with the greatest need.
“We will continue to grow our testing capacity, as we know the certainty and confidence that high quality testing can provide.”
Minister of State for Care Helen Whately said:
“Care homes are on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19 and we are determined that staff have everything they need to keep themselves and their residents safe. Testing is a crucial part of this. It helps prevent and control outbreaks and means steps can be taken to reduce the spread the virus and protect the most vulnerable.
“By prioritising thousands of tests for care home staff and residents, we can target our national testing capacity in the areas and care homes with the greatest need.”
The testing programme will be delivered to care homes with the collaboration between The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Directors of Adult Social Services, local NHS providers and local authority Directors of Public Health.
Thousands of care home residents and workers have already been tested through various means such as drive-through testing sites, satellite testing kits, mobile testing units and by Public Health England itself.
These tests will help prevent and control outbreaks among those that are most vulnerable. If there are positive results, those individuals can be isolated and treated straight away, curbing the spread of the virus and protecting those that are most at risk of infection. The testing also builds up strategic understanding of the virus locally and nationally, helping with prevention and control of the pandemic in the UK.
The results of the tests will be given to the care home managers as well as councils to manage the outbreak of the virus in local areas, minimizing the infection rate and saving lives.