National Care Forum calls for 200,000 daily Covid tests amid ‘chaos’

The care sector needs 200,000 Covid-19 tests a day to ensure the safety of residents and staff according to the National Care Forum (NCF).

The representative body said the current availability of 30,000 tests per day available to care homes, which equates to 300 homes per day, is inadequate.

“Despite the government’s efforts to develop a testing programme for social care, the testing arrangements remain chaotic, there is no reliable timescale for getting the test results and there are simply not enough tests prioritised for social care,” the NCF added in a statement.

An NCF member survey found the speed and quality of the testing process is a “postcode lottery”, with some told they cannot be tested until 6 June.

One care home meanwhile saw 17 resident tests come back as ‘void’ because of a faulty machine at a lab, requiring all of those residents to be re-tested.

Executive director Vic Rayner (pictured) said: “We are calling for 200,000 routine and regular tests per day for social care to ensure they have a strategic and targeted prioritisation of all their employees and residents, and for speed and quality in test results to ensure accuracy and to give carers and residents confidence that we are doing all we can to keep them safe.”

She added: “We are asking for more tests to be made available for care providers to make sure that the government holds to its promise."