Care homes in Cheshire West and Chester to take part in visitor testing scheme

17 December 2020

Lateral Flow Tests (LFT) are now being delivered to care homes nationally as part of a phased roll-out. Some care homes in Cheshire West and Chester are involved and are planning to start using the tests.

More care homes will start to receive the tests as further phases of the scheme are developed.

Under the initiative, relatives can be tested at the care home and receive their results within an hour. Depending on the layout of the individual care homes, relatives may need to wait outside or in their vehicles for their results.

If the result is negative, they will be able to have a face-to-face visit with their family member while still respecting social distancing and using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Officers from Cheshire West and Chester Council are in regular contact with all local care homes. The council will continue to work closely with them as they receive their tests to support them with any challenges they face. 

Each care home is responsible for setting its own visiting policy, which will allow staff to manage the number of visits that take place. All visits must be arranged with the care home in advance.

Visitors will be required to wear PPE. Contact should be minimised to protect their loved ones, other residents and care staff.
Where a care home has a current outbreak of COVID19, national guidance does not permit visiting to take place. 

Councillor Val Armstrong, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Both the council and care home providers are acutely aware of the importance of being able to physically visit loved ones in care homes. 

“Whilst the roll-out of the testing is welcome, it will place additional responsibilities on care staff. We would therefore ask that relatives understand the additional pressures on care homes and allow homes time to get the necessary systems in place.”
“This has been a difficult time for care home residents, their loved ones and the staff members who care for them. We would like to thank everyone for their continued patience and support during the pandemic."

Full details on the roll-out of the lateral flow tests can be found on the GOV.UK website.

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