Another major caregiver says he does not have access to regular coronavirus tests due to security problems with a supplier used by the government.
The country’s largest charitable service provider, MHA, says it has been without routine testing for employees and residents for more than two weeks due to problems with Randox testing.
Sky News follows that Care UK was facing a five-week wait for routine testing.
Image: MHA is the largest charitable service provider in the country
The development casts more doubt on the government’s promise to provide weekly testing for healthcare professionals and monthly testing for residents.
MHA Chief Executive Sam Monaghan said: “To say that we are disappointed and frustrated by this latest failure in the nursing home testing regime is an understatement.”
“The impact continues to be most felt by our residents and their families who had to renounce contact with their loved ones to keep them safe and our team who worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic,” he added.
The MHA manages 222 homes and assistance plans, supporting 18,500 residents and members across the UK.
Image: The problem is due to security issues in some tests
The Department of Health and Welfare has not yet responded to requests for comment, but officials said nursing homes can still access immediate tests for those who have symptoms.
On July 3, Secretary of Health Matt Hancock promised regular tests in nursing homes for people without symptoms to determine whether the virus was being transmitted without knowing it.
But Sky News revealed on Thursday that Care UK – one of the UK’s largest social care providers – had been informed by the government that it would no longer be able to access routine tests.
In a leaked letter, the company’s CEO said that “government communication on this issue is very lacking” and that “this experience is reflected in other major healthcare organizations”.
The scarcity is linked to a government decision to suspend the use of tests produced by Randox Laboratories two weeks ago, after security issues arose.
A third carer, Arms Care, based in Norfolk, told Sky News that he never had access to regular tests.
“There is a deep sense of anxiety among employees, and this is partly because no one really knows who received it, who did not receive it and whether there is a danger of bringing it home,” said the company’s managing director, Raj Sehgal. .
Image: Matt Hancock had promised regular tests in nursing homes
A report published this week on the government’s approach to social assistance during the COVID-19 crisis found that homes were “effectively thrown to the wolves”.
The evaluation of the Public Accounts Committee between parties said that the social assistance sector had been left as a bad relationship with the NHS.
The decision to release 25,000 hospital patients to nursing homes without ensuring that they were tested for the virus was an example of the government’s “slow, inconsistent and sometimes negligent” approach to social assistance, the committee said.
Labor MP Meg Hillier, who chairs the committee, said: “Our homes have been effectively thrown to wolves, and the virus has devastated some of them.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is also facing legal action for alleging that he placed a “protective ring” around homes.
Cathy Gardner, whose 88-year-old father, Michael Gibson, died of suspected COVID-19 in a nursing home, demanded that Hancock retract the observation.