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Cash for care home staff testing “welcome news”

Care leaders have welcomed ring-fenced government funding of extended staff testing for coronavirus in care homes

Vic Rayner, executive director at the National Care Forum said the £149 million cash injection was “welcome news” as requirements for testing had significantly increased, placing greater burdens on operators.

“All staff in care homes will now need to have 2 rapid tests via lateral flow devices each week alongside the current weekly PCR testing – this is a tripling of the current staff testing regime which care homes are being asked to put into practice immediately with no notice. These additional commitments sit alongside major additional testing requirements around visiting, and the expectation that testing will be majorly ramped up during outbreaks,” said Rayner.

“The £149m extra funding from government is definitely welcome news. This is urgently needed to support the extra testing and comes after several months of intense discussion about the very practical difficulties of the exponential expansion of on-site testing in care homes and the very significant additional resource this requires.”

Rayner said that ministers must now move swiftly to ensure the care sector have the tests they need.

“The government must now ensure that all care homes have their LFD tests in place as a matter of urgency, if care homes are to make the additional testing happen. At this moment, despite national roll out, we know that a number of care homes have yet to receive their LFD tests and this must be resolved immediately,” she said.

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