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Testing offers ‘silver bullet’ for crisis in care homes

May 1, 2020

Two care operators have described the government’s announcement on Covid-19 testing for key workers as a ‘silver bullet’” for the care sector.

In a joint interview, Chris Mitchell, chairman of Park Lane Healthcare and Tony Stein, chief executive of Healthcare Management Solutions have challenged the description of care homes as being a “war zone” while praising the government’s new testing measures which they see as the solution to the sector’s problems.

The two care leaders said that, although the global pandemic creates challenges, care homes were well equipped and practised in managing infectious diseases.

“It’s business as usual in our care homes,” said Chris Mitchell.

“Of course we face challenges but every year we tackle infections like norovirus and winter flu, so we’re more than up to the job of meeting quarantine and barrier-nursing protocols where necessary.

“While normally our homes would be filled with residents’ family and visitors from outside, we now have staff and carers who are going the extra mile to keep everybody connected and ensure that the people we look after have fun and a great quality of life in our homes.

“After the government’s recent announcement extending Covid-19 testing to care workers and their families, I had a new spring in my step! This is the means by which we can eventually return to some form of normality and ensure that our residents, staff and their families remain happy and healthy.”

On the issue of personal protective equipment (PPE), Tony Stein added: “Certainly, more needs to be done by the government to get PPE supplies into the country but at the moment, we are managing to source PPE for our homes. In perspective, that means sourcing 100,000 facemasks for our homes across the UK but at the moment we are managing.”

On testing, he added: “Testing for staff and their families is a game changer. We will now be able to test those staff who are self-isolating, perhaps because a family member might be showing symptoms, and potentially, get them back into the homes.”

Tony Stein and Chris Mitchell

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