Government announces extension of testing eligibility to all care homes

In a letter to Directors of Public Health an Directors of Adult Social Services late on 5 June, the government announced that from 7 June eligibility for whole homes testing has been extended to all remaining adult care home residents and asymptomatic staff.

While welcome news for those people with a learning disability or mental health issues, acquired brain injury and younger adults with other needs living in a residential care home, a small group of trade and professional bodies and some operators met with the Social Care Minister and officials last week to press for a further extension of these arrangements to extra care housing and supported housing where residents are in receipt of on-site planned care and support. This was not forthcoming but we were advised that this under review. The letter issued confirms this position, namely:

"We are continuing to explore how we can support other parts of the sector such as those in supported living settings, extra care settings and domiciliary care. Anyone with suspected coronavirus symptoms in these settings can of course access testing by self- refer on (opens new window)".

In May 2020, the Minister thanked our sector for the work to tackle coronavirus in retirement living and extra care housing in this letter (opens new window).