The Welsh Conservatives’ Shadow Minister for Social Care – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has today (10 June) voiced her concerns over the Welsh Government’s 28-day COVID-free policy, as care officials claim that they were not properly consulted on its design.
Her calls come as Care Forum Wales warned that up to half of care homes in Wales could be threatened with closure due to the financial implications of the policy.
Mrs Finch-Saunders has also raised concerns with the implementation of the weekly testing policy after a statement by Vaughan Gething MS appeared to indicate that weekly testing would be restricted to social care home staff only.
Speaking following her questions to the First Minister, Janet said:
“I am dismayed that the Welsh Government could think it wise to implement such a rule without first properly consulting the sector. The introduction of the 28-day COVID-free policy has failed to consider the complexity of the sector and the restrictions that many homes are working within.
“Care officials have been consistent in their warnings that curtailing care home occupancy will be the final hammer blow to many struggling homes. The Minister’s lazy one-size fits all approach presents a very real risk to the longevity of many firms.
“I am also concerned about how the Welsh Government’s weekly testing programme has been introduced. Time and time again, I have been contacted by social care staff who are waiting several days to receive their test results. This needs to be resolved for the programme to succeed.
“Yesterday’s written statement by the Welsh Health Minister indicated that the scheme would be for care home staff only. I urge his administration to roll out an expansive testing regime that also includes care home residents, to ensure the health and well-being of all persons present.
Notes to Editors:
- Vaughan Gething MS Statement (9 June): “From Monday 15th June, all care home staff will be offered a weekly test for a four-week period.”