Health secretary says coronavirus testing kits made ‘immediately’ available to care homes



Health secretary Matt Hancock has said coronavirus testing kits will be made ‘immediately’ available in care homes.

Speaking on Sky News Mr Hancock said the Government was working on a way that meant tests could be available through the post.

It comes after a number of care homes across Staffordshire have reported patients testing positive for Covid-19 while Bradwell Hall Nursing Home, in Bradwell, revealed eight residents had died.

Speaking on Sky News, Mr Hancock said: “The systems are in place so that they can get the tests immediately, yes.

“The tests don’t yet come through the post, we’re working on that, that’s a new technology that doesn’t yet exist, but immediately – yes.”

Last night Bradwell Hall confirmed it was working with Staffordshire County Council and Public Health England due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Owner Edward Twigge said: “We look after some of the most frail and elderly people and it is always upsetting when someone passes away. However, the last three weeks have been truly heart-breaking for everyone involved with the home.

“Our thoughts are still very much with the families of the lovely residents we have sadly lost. I would also like to say a huge thank you to our wonderful staff for their hard work and dedication during these difficult times.

“We clearly still have a difficult few days and weeks to get through and I would like to thank everyone for their continued support at this time.”

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HE communicable disease control consultant Dr Nic Coetzee said: “We are working closely with the council, the NHS and Bradwell Hall Nursing Home to provide support and advice and ensure the residents and healthcare workers are cared for.

“The care home implemented cleansing, self-shielding and self-isolation measures on our advice once symptoms developed in residents and care workers. Affected staff and residents continue to follow this guidance to prevent the further spread of the virus.

“PHE has given all care homes health advice about the symptoms of coronavirus and asked them to closely monitor residents, looking out for symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing.”





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