Community Health and Social Care Integration News

Update for members where Covid is in your care home – you can now be tested even if no symptoms

Carers on the frontline

This is an update on who is eligible for testing for Covid-19. It has been confirmed that where one resident or staff member in a care home has tested positive for Covid-19 then all care home residents and staff will be eligible for testing.

Kate Ramsden, Branch co-chair said, “The branch has been pressing through our Scottish Local Government Committee for updated guidance on testing, to reflect the statement of the First Minister through the media, that testing will be made available to all staff and residents in a care home, where Covid-19 has been confirmed.

“We were deeply concerned that testing was only made available to those showing symptoms, when we know that many people with Covid-19 can be asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic. This, along with the advice that only those staff with symptoms need to self isolate, in care homes where residents have tested positive for the virus, has caused us serious concern.”

Today (7th May) we learned that Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director for the Scottish Government, has confirmed that the definition of an outbreak of Covid has been changed to:-

If one person in a care home is diagnosed with Covid, staff or resident, then everyone in that care home will be tested, staff included. If a member of staff works between several establishments then all those establishments will be tested.

Inez Kirk, Branch secretary and vice chair of the Scottish Joint Committee said, “At last the government has accepted that some people are working with mild symptoms, and this is spreading the infection.

“This is predominantly in private and third sector homes, with many fearing they will not be paid, and obviously this is spreading the infection. Jason Leitch is working with the Health Secretary and these providers to ensure that workers know they will be paid if they go off sick with symptoms, to prevent this situation arising.”

As a reminder….

Information about testing can be found on the NHS Grampian website. Should you wish to apply, please visit the site and complete the form as per the instructions.

 You can find advice and support relating to coronavirus on the dedicated Aberdeenshire Council staff site, and a factsheet is available too.

Home testing is now available via NHS Grampian for key workers or members of their households that cannot attend one of the local testing facilities. Home tests should be requested through the same routes as on-site testing.

All Aberdeenshire key workers, including those involved in the delivery of social care through the Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership and those delivering other key services, have also been given access to COVID-19 testing via NHS Grampian’s testing sites in Aberdeen, Huntly and Elgin.

This enables all key workers across the organisation to access testing through the same process and receive the same level of support via NHS Grampian’s Public Health team in the event of a positive test result.

The three locations across Grampian allow  staff to attend the testing facility closest to home, keeping travel to a minimum, and the provision of home testing for those who cannot attend a drive through site is invaluable.