A new online portal which aims to make it easier for care homes to arrange deliveries of coronavirus test kits has been launched by the government.
All symptomatic and asymptomatic care home staff and residents in England are now eligible for testing. Testing will be prioritised for care homes that look after the over 65s.
The portal asks for:
- the care home’s CQC registration number
- total number of residents, including number of residents with coronavirus symptoms
- total number of staff, including agency staff
- contact details
Health and social care secretary, Matt Hancock, said: “The additional testing capacity we have achieved delivers many thousands of tests a day for residents and staff in care homes.
“This new portal allows those who book tests for staff and residents to do so even more easily, and it also offers a route for the prioritisation of care homes with the greatest need.
“We will continue to grow our testing capacity, as we know the certainty and confidence that high quality testing can provide.”
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is working with local authority Directors of Public Health, Directors of Adult Social Services and local NHS providers to deliver this testing programme for care homes.
Test results for residents will be communicated to the care home managers. This information will also be provided to councils in order to help manage coronavirus outbreaks in local areas.
Minister of state for care, Helen Whately, added: “Care homes are on the frontline in the fight against Covid-19 and we are determined that staff have everything they need to keep themselves and their residents safe.
“Testing is a crucial part of this. It helps prevent and control outbreaks and means steps can be taken to reduce the spread the virus and protect the most vulnerable. By prioritising thousands of tests for care home staff and residents, we can target our national testing capacity in the areas and care homes with the greatest need.”