Care Homes: Coronavirus

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 7th September 2020.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his Department is doing to ensure that test results for covid-19 are delivered to care homes in a timely manner.

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

Between 30 July and 5 August 2020, 43.3% of test results for satellite testing, which includes care home testing, were received within 48 hours of the test being taken. Care homes predominantly use satellite test kits as they need greater control and flexibility over when tests are collected. For example, tests may be conducted over multiple days with a collection scheduled a few days later.

Due to this, a lower proportion of test results will be available within 24 hours of the test being taken. We are encouraging more care homes to conduct testing over the weekend (Friday to Sunday) where possible to do so, to make better use of available lab capacity which should support faster turn-around times.

Turnaround times for tests conducted under Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 are published weekly on GOV.uk as part of the Weekly NHS Test and Trace Bulletin.

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