“The national programme, led by the Department of Health and Social Care, to issue lateral flow testing kits to care homes is underway and our homes in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are due to receive kits over the next four weeks.
“The intention is that rapid regular testing will be offered to two visitors per resident, which, when combined with other infection control measures, appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing and good hygiene will support meaningful visits.
“Whilst this is really welcome news, we need people to be patient with our homes as they receive their kits over the coming weeks. Care homes will have a lot to work through, including training their staff to support the testing, putting in place booking and logging processes and rolling it out for every one of their residents - this may take a little time. The Local Authorities and Shropshire Partners in Care will support homes and visitors with this programme.
“Our homes are also keen to remind families and friends that the safety of their residents remains their priority and a negative test does not mean there is no longer a risk of transmitting the virus - people visiting their loved ones have a really important role in helping care homes to keep residents safe. Care homes will still be taking a measured approach to receiving visitors in a safe way, following robust infection prevention, and taking into account their specific circumstances and things like the layout of their home and the individual needs of their residents and staff.
“When the testing is finally underway, homes will let families know by letter or email and also remind them that visitors are still required to adhere to the hands, face, space measures to keep their loved ones safe.
“We are immensely grateful to our care homes who continue to work incredibly hard to protect some of our most vulnerable friends and family members through very difficult times. ”