Almost two thirds of care homes have had no staff tested, data suggests

PUBLISHED: 06:00 31 May 2020

Coronavirus test swabs. Picture: PA Images

Coronavirus test swabs. Picture: PA Images


The majority of care homes in Britain have not had any staff tested for coronavirus, figures suggest, indicating the Government remains a long way off its target for universal testing by early June.

The majority of care homes in Britain have not had any staff tested for coronavirus, figures suggest. Photo: Denise BradleyThe majority of care homes in Britain have not had any staff tested for coronavirus, figures suggest. Photo: Denise Bradley

The latest data on staff testing suggests similarly low figures to those released in recent days regarding the testing of residents.

Sixty-two per cent of care homes have not had any staff members tested since the beginning of the pandemic up to May 27, figures from the Data Analysis Bureau (T-DAB) and Person Centred Software (PCS) showed.

On May 15 Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We will test every resident and every member of staff in our elderly care homes in England between now and early June.”

T-DAB looked at a total sample size of 12,407 care givers from 650 care homes across England, Wales and Scotland.

READ MORE: Millions of pounds to control outbreaks in Norfolk care homes

It found that between the date of Mr Hancock’s announcement and May 27, 9% of care home staff had been tested. The figure for England was slightly higher at 10pc.

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Just 15pc of care home staff have been tested at any time since the outbreak, figures showed.

The organisation said 6% of care home staff were tested in the seven days up to May 27.

Simon Briscoe, director of T-DAB said: “The rate of testing of care home staff has picked up in the last week but is still far too slow to get close to the target set by the Government.

READ MORE: Another 11 Norfolk care home residents die from coronavirus

“Testing of just one in 10 staff and residents is far below the rate demanded by industry bodies and targeted by Government.”

Speaking on Friday, Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said testing in care settings needs to be prioritised, and called for “proper guidance” for homes in relation to the NHS Test and Trace programme, which was launched in England the day before.

Data released earlier this month by T-DAB suggested 38pc of care homes have had no residents tested since the pandemic started.

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