Adult social care services are to receive millions of personal protective equipment (PPE) products following a national audit of PPE, according to HSJ.
The government said it will deliver more than 30 million items to local resilience forums in the coming days, for distribution among social care and other front-line services.
Major PPE shortages have been reported across social care services in recent weeks, with Unison reporting that many of its members who work in the sector are at “breaking point” because of the lack of personal protective equipment available to them.
In addition, care homes have increasingly been asking for widespread coronavirus testing in their facilities, but current government policy limits a care home to just five tests, only if there is an outbreak.
This is despite government guidance outlining that "more comprehensive testing” to the sector will be available when “capacity increases”.
But some big care chains, that have already had care recipients die from the virus, have said they still have not had a single test, with staff simply being advised to isolate suspected cases at the home.
According to the Daily Mail, there have been at least 40 virus-related deaths in UK care homes, but the lack of testing means experts can’t know the true scale of the crisis or how many residents and workers already have the illness.
The publication found that Four Seasons Healthcare (FSHC), which runs more than 200 homes, has had no tests for residents or staff, despite 13 residents dying from a suspected outbreak in just one week at the company’s Burlington House in Glasgow. Half of FSHC’s 13,000 staff are self-isolating, and two have tested positive in hospital.
The UK’s largest care home group, HC-One, said none of the staff at its 320 homes had been tested. And similarly, Bupa Care Homes, which operates more than 120 sites, said no staff had had access to testing.