We’ve been leading the way to embed routine testing into care homes since the start of the pandemic; we’ve been involved in every care home pilot that has been available through various government bodies.
We are continuing to work closely with our health partners in England, Scotland and Wales to undertake regular testing in our homes.
Routine Colleague testing
All of our care home Colleagues benefit from routine coronavirus testing. Many people who contract coronavirus do so asymptomatically and this has been one of the biggest challenges for care homes as until routine testing became available, it was very difficult to know if a person had coronavirus or not.
All Residents are tested prior to admission into a care home.
In Scotland and Wales, if the test result is negative the new Resident can be admitted into the care home and will only move into the care home community once they have received in-room care services for a period of 14 days. If the test result is positive, we ask them to stay in their own home, hospital or their existing care home for 14 days prior to admission and then move into our care home upon receiving a negative test result.
In England, new Residents upon admission where they have been discharged from hospital or an interim care facility or have transferred from another care home will receive in-room care and hotel services for a period of 14 days before they move into the wider care home community. During this 14 day period, essential care givers are welcome to visit Residents in their rooms, unless there are specific reasons not to do so.
New Residents in England who are admitted from the local community do not need to isolate for 14 days upon admission where they meet certain requirements and specific criteria are met. This includes where the Resident is fully vaccinated (and the admission is a minimum of three weeks after their 2nd dose of the vaccine to ensure maximum immunity); guidance from the local Director of Public Health about community transmission of Variants of Concern is followed; the Resident has no known contact with a COVID-19 positive individual; the care home has considered the circumstances at the Resident’s home prior to admission to the care home.
The Resident will be subject to an enhanced testing regime consisting of a PCR test before admission (within 72 hours), a PCR test on the day of admission (day 0) and a further PCR test 7 days following admission (day 7) and daily rapid lateral flow testing until the day 7 PCR test has been received.
For more information on the Government guidance visit: Admission and care of residents in a care home during COVID-19 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Ongoing routine testing of Residents varies in our care homes in England, Scotland and Wales due to the different ways that local authorities and NHS operates in each country.
Whilst the systems operate differently, the rationale is based on the fact that unlike our Colleagues, Residents are not exposed to the wider community, their main contact is with our Colleagues or with loved ones through safe visits, both inside the home and out of the home.
Routine testing has enabled us to ensure that our Colleagues are coronavirus negative. Additional safety measures such as enhanced infection control and the safe and effective use of personal protective equipment worn by all Colleagues adds further protection to Residents so that they live in our homes as safely as possible during this pandemic.