The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is piloting a scheme for adult social care workers to order Covid-19 home testing kits.

The regulator says that, since 10 April, 24,590 locations have been contacted and 12,422 appointments have been booked for care staff at a national testing centre but that a trial home testing scheme will be rolled out next week.

The CQC will also be coordinating testing appointments for staff from other sectors who are not already covered by an existing NHS or local authority scheme, including GPs and practice teams.

Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of CQC, added that it was important that care staff feel supported and able to freely express concerns over standards.

“It is especially important – at a time when staff may be looking after more patients than usual, working outside their normal competencies or in new environments – to highlight the value of safety culture.  Ensuring an open and transparent culture where people can speak up when they have concerns about safety is crucial,” he said

“Staff must feel confident that they will be listened to – without any fear of blame or reprisal – when raising concerns and reporting incidents. In these exceptionally challenging times, identifying and reporting risk so that action can be taken to ensure that safe care is maintained will be more important than ever. CQC will be listening, and we want to help you to keep people safe.”