By Integrated Care Journal-
Every care home in England will now be offered a coronavirus test for all residents and staff, regardless of whether they experience Covid-19 symptoms.
Since the launch of whole care home testing, the Government has provided more than one million test kits to 8,984 care homes. Furthermore, the Department of Health and Social Care reports it is now able to send out over 50,000 test kits a day.
To continue providing support for the sector and to tackle the further spread of the virus in social care, the Government has also set up a new taskforce, with representatives from across government and the care sector.
The new taskforce will help oversee the implementation of the government’s social care action plan and care home support package to end transmission in the community and advise on a plan to support the sector through the next year.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said that the new service will benefit over 6,000 more care homes. “It will mean that right across the care home sector, everyone will have the certainty and confidence of a high quality coronavirus test, whether symptomatic or not," he added.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive at Care England, welcomed the announcement, saying that “it will be able to support people appropriately."
Commenting on the new taskforce, Vic Rayner, Executive Director at National Care Forum said it “will provide a real opportunity for all partners to work together to ensure a coordinated focus on the core essential of managing this virus, and bring energy and attention to the way in which Covid is impacting social care now – and critically in planning and preparation for the future. ”