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Care homes get portal to order coronavirus test kits


Mark Say Managing Editor

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has launched an online portal for care homes in England to arrange deliveries of coronavirus test kits.

Old lady and carers

The portal sits on GOV.UK and is aimed at making it easier for care homes to book tests for residents and staff.

It is open for use by care home managers and the representatives of local directors of public health. The process requires the care home’s registration number, the total number of residents and staff and contact details.

All symptomatic and asymptomatic care home staff and residents in England are now eligible for testing, and the Government has made a priority of testing those in most need. Initially the tests are available for the over-65s and people with dementia.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said “This new portal allows those who book tests for staff and residents to do so even more easily, and it also offers a route for the prioritisation of care homes with the greatest need.

“We will continue to grow our testing capacity, as we know the certainty and confidence that high quality testing can provide.”

Managers and councils

Test results for residents will be communicated to the care home managers. This information will also be provided to councils in order to help manage coronavirus outbreaks in local areas.

In late April the Government announced that testing would be expanded in the care sector to include both symptomatic and asymptomatic care home staff and residents. The first time a care home suspects an outbreak of coronavirus, care home managers should contact their local health protection team to arrange testing. Subsequent testing will be through this DHSC programme.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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