The Welsh Conservatives’ Shadow Minister for Social Care – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has today (15 July) urged the Welsh Government to ensure that weekly testing of care home staff remains at a consistent level over the coming months. Her intervention comes as Vaughan Gething MS has today published a new COVID-19 testing strategy for Wales.
Commenting on the Minister's statement, Janet said:
“Whilst I welcome the four week extension to the weekly testing regime, I am greatly alarmed by Vaughan Gething's suggestion that he may reduce care home testing from the 10th August.
“Does the Welsh Minister for Health need reminding that the death rate for adult care homes in Wales is currently 74% higher than the same period last year? Does the tragic fact that 734 care home residents have sadly died of suspected COVID-19 cases not warrant a continuation of the present testing scheme?
“The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales has rightly described the situation in our care homes as a tragedy. More should have been done sooner to support residents, as well as the brilliant staff who do so much to care for them.
“Surely an extension is reasonable and obvious at this time of extreme challenge to our selfless frontline staff. Why then did the Minister dither and delay again, causing upset and distress in the care sector?