Care Homes: Coronavirus

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 16th September 2020.

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Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will give priority to care homes in covid-19 testing.

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

Social care settings and the National Health Service are priority areas for testing under the Government's Testing Programme.

Following the launch of the Care Home Portal on 11 May, Whole Care Home testing through the National Testing Programme was initially made available to care homes that primarily look after older people or people with dementia. We met our target to reach those homes by 6 June, delivering over 1 million testing kits to almost 9,000 of these care homes.

From 7 June, we expanded eligibility for the service to all remaining adult care homes, which can now access whole care home testing for all residents and staff through the digital portal. We are issuing over 50,000 tests a day to care homes across the country, with the majority of these in high priority outbreak areas.

Any symptomatic or asymptomatic care home staff or residents can get a test and care homes with suspected positive cases will be able to access Whole Care Home testing via their local Health Protection Team. Care home staff are able to access testing through multiple channels, such as regional test sites, home testing, mobile testing units, as well as through the care home portal online.

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