Care centre seeks Government intervention after fight to access coronavirus tests

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 August 2020

Dr Liam Fox will address the struggle to access Covid-19 tests with Matt Hancock.

Dr Liam Fox will address the struggle to access Covid-19 tests with Matt Hancock.

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A care home director from Portishead is calling for government action due to the lack of Covid-19 tests for staff.

Samuel Maierovits of Hudson Healthcare has written to North Somerset MP Liam Fox.  Picture: Harbour Residential Care CentreSamuel Maierovits of Hudson Healthcare has written to North Somerset MP Liam Fox. Picture: Harbour Residential Care Centre

Samuel Maierovits of Hudson Healthcare, which runs Harbour Residential Care Centre, says staff have not been tested for more than a month due to backlogs, despite ‘regular requests’.

Mr Maierovits has written to North Somerset MP Liam Fox, who has promised to raise the issue directly with the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock.

In the letter, he stressed there is no provision for new care home applicants who do not meet the community testing criteria to be tested for coronavirus before being admitted into care homes.

As a result of this, the company is refusing admission to new care centre residents who have not been tested for the virus before moving in.

Dr Liam Fox will address the struggle to access Covid-19 tests with Matt Hancock.Photo: Nick Ansell/PA WireDr Liam Fox will address the struggle to access Covid-19 tests with Matt Hancock.Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Mr Maierovits said: “We have remained Covid-free at the care centre thanks to our vigilance, but as testing in the community has not been widely available, this has caused frustration among those hoping to move in, but are unable to access a coronavirus test.

“That is why we’ve taken the initiative to reach out to Dr Liam Fox to get ahead of the potential risk that this lapse poses for care homes across the country, and reassure those working and living in our homes that we are doing everything we can to create a safe environment.”

Last month, the government said care home staff will be given a coronavirus test every week, while residents would be tested monthly to identify anyone with the virus and reduce the risk of infection, but care homes
confirm this is still not
happening.

Mr Maierovits added: “We’re pleased that Dr Fox is taking the matter seriously, and raising this with Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock.

“We hope to have our staff’s regular testing back on track, and GPs instructed to administer tests before potential residents join care homes from the community as a result.”


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