With so many care settings in the constituency, I continue to keep a close eye on the support which staff and residents are receiving. This applies to national and local Government support.
The Government have announced a ramping up of testing for staff and existing residents. Those leaving hospital to transfer to a care home will also be tested. Every local authority must assess the correct care setting for a discharged patient to move to. This will allow some care homes to have greater resilience and ensure that the spread of Covid-19 is contained. I have today checked in with our County Council and NHS to ask how this guidance is being followed in practice in East Sussex.
Testing of care home staff, and other frontline key workers, is a further key to the containment of Coronavirus in care settings. We currently have a Coronavirus testing centre in Bexhill, but this has been set up specifically to test NHS staff. Whilst the NHS has made this centre available to other frontline organisations, it was not meant to be part of the national network of testing centres. These national centres provide testing to all who now qualify by virtue of age or because they work in care homes or essential services (or by being family members). I have pushed for change in order for the Bexhill testing centre to be the host for any local resident who falls within the criteria for testing. I am told this will be imminent but it would be prudent for those who need testing to go to the quickest option rather than wait for the most local option.
Until this time, if you need a test immediately then this will require you to follow the online format and attend one of the Sussex hub sites (Gatwick or Brighton) which is allocated to you. I will continue to press daily for the Bexhill testing centre to be opened up for all who are eligible. More information is available on the GOV.uk website at this link