Care Homes: Coronavirus

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 21st May 2020.

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Photo of Greg Smith Greg Smith Conservative, Buckingham

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of recommending the use of an oropharyngeal swab only for testing care home residents with dementia for covid-19 to reduce distress.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

As the national testing capacity has increased, we have built a national testing infrastructure and are using this capacity to deliver up to 30,000 tests a day to residents and staff in care homes for older people. We know many of those in care homes will have specific needs, including residents with dementia. We have provided detailed guidance and training materials to ensure staff can administer oropharyngeal tests safely and effectively, and with due regard for the residents’ best interests.

Our care system represents the best of us, supporting our loved ones with tenderness and dedication at their time of greatest need. Through this unprecedented expansion of testing, we can give them the certainty and confidence that high-quality testing can provide.

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