North Staffordshire care home still waiting for coronavirus testing kits to arrive – 10 days after ordering them

A care home is still waiting for vital coronavirus home-testing kits to arrive from the Government – 10 days after ordering them.

Burleigh House, in Leek Road, Cellarhead, requested the 24 kits – 12 for staff and 12 for its residents – to make sure everyone is still staying coronavirus free.

But the tests are still to arrive.

Burleigh House went into its own self-imposed lockdown on March 13. It cares for the over-65s.

Manager Deborah Hammond said: “In 10 weeks we have had no coronavirus cases – nothing even suspected. As staff we have been very careful. We are coming in, going home and washing our uniforms.

Residents at Burleigh House care home, in Cellarhead

“We are working really hard, using proper personal protective equipment, and we have been Covid-19-free for 10 weeks.

“But the tests are important. Staffordshire County Council has given me another email to try to chase them up and they say it might be a blip somewhere but I don’t know how many blips you have to have.”

The care home applied for the home-testing kits via the Government website.

Deborah added: “I feel responsibility for my staff and the residents. The staff are working so hard and so many hours and the residents aren’t seeing their families which is tough.

“The job role is demanding because we are taking temperatures daily of every staff member and resident, everything has upped the scale.

“Staff are coming in and going home. Are they taking it home to their families who could be at high risk?

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“The Government says everybody is going to be tested before June. We keep having these updates every day and that they are interested in looking after care homes but nothing is happening.

“All of the hard work we’ve done in the past 10 weeks could be blown away because we are not being tested.”

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The residents have been entertained with ice cream afternoons, singalongs and face-time calls with their families.

Deborah said: “We’ve done absolutely amazing to have no symptoms but it’s getting harder and harder every day.

“It’s all these people who have been discharged from hospital without testing. They have gone into care homes and six days later they have tested positive and that’s the reason coronavirus is rife in care homes. Not enough testing is being done. I want these tests as soon as possible.”

A Department for Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Tens of thousands of care home staff and residents have already undertaken our quick and straightforward tests. By early June, we will be delivering up to 30,000 per day to test staff and residents at all care homes which look after over-65s.”

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