To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with representatives from the care sector on the role that sector will play in providing the Government with early data in the event of a future increase in cases of covid-19; and if he will make a statement.
Since the start of this pandemic we have been working closely with the care sector, including engaging through regular meetings.
Care home managers and providers are required to contact their local Health Protection Team (HPT) as soon as possible if they have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. This enables rapid public health risk assessment and deployment of testing. Data from testing is reported to Public Health England (PHE) daily and formally reviewed weekly in Departmental meetings.
PHE HPTs already work closely with local authorities to monitor the local patterns of COVID-19 infection in the community and care sector.
In addition, in order to receive funding from the infectious Control Fund, Care homes are required to regularly submit data on Covid Case numbers and infection control measures.