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Social care workers with coronavirus symptoms unable to access tests

Only 22% of social care workers with coronavirus symptoms have been able to access tests so far, according to a new survey.

The National Care Forum yesterday published a survey of organisations representing over 31,000 social care workers.

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Of these, 6,469 have coronavirus symptoms – making them a priority for testing – and attempts have been made to get them tested.

However, less than a quarter (1,436) have actually been tested so far (22%).

This is despite the fact that Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced almost a month ago that testing would be rolled out to all social care staff with coronavirus symptoms.

According to the survey, the government’s employer portal is not working for social care employers, since the system is already overwhelmed, and does not automatically prioritise social care workers. This is similarly the case for self-referrals.

In response, Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the National Care Forum said:

“The government’s promise to provide tests for all staff is exposed as pure words. Social care needs to be systematically prioritised in each and every testing system, in order for government to live up to its commitment.”

Pure words indeed.

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