The Government has announced that COVID-19 testing will now be available to all home care workers presenting Coronavirus symptoms. While Health Secretary Matt Hancock declared that the NHS is still aiming to conduct 100,000 tests a day, the latest action plan released by the Department of Health and Social Care revealed that vulnerable individuals who rely on home care services will not be included.
What does this mean for those who receive care at home?
According to the Government, if an individual who is receiving home care services displays symptoms of Coronavirus, then care staff should take safe working measures in order to minimise risk. This will include the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as well as adequate cleaning and laundry. For domiciliary care service providers, free PPE will be issued from the pandemic influenza stockpile.
Additionally, care providers can refer the vulnerable to the NHS Volunteer Responders: COVID-19 programme for practical and emotional support such as help with shopping, fetching prescriptions, or simply checking in to prevent loneliness. The Government has said that NHS volunteers will also be able to assist home care providers with logistical tasks like moving equipment or supplies.
What is the testing rollout plan?
COVID-19 testing for care workers is arranged through the Care Quality Commission (CQC), enabling all 30,000 care providers to refer eligible staff to the relevant local testing centres.
The tests are carried out by taking a swab sample from the back of the nose or throat and are available at designated NHS facilities, as well as a range of private drive-through locations. If following the results, staff are advised to self-isolate, they should not visit individuals until safe to do so.
At Sova Healthcare, we are following the Government’s advice to ensure we continue to provide the best possible home care services for the most vulnerable. If you or someone you know is in need of support, our helpline is open 24/7.
Contact us today on 0800 688 8866.