Covid-19 testing centre for NHS and care workers set up in Southend
A CORONAVIRUS testing centre for NHS and care workers has been set up in Eastwood, it was disclosed today.
Southend Hospital’s Lighthouse child development centre, near the Kingsdown School in Snakes Lane, has been designated as the local testing site.
The centre will undertake antigen testing to determine whether health and care workers have Covid-19.
In an update to Southend councillors, public health officials say: “This service covers the testing of symptomatic health and care workers and symptomatic household contacts of health and care workers.”
They add consideration is also being given to when other essential workers wil be able to access the testing facility to enable them to return to work.
Meanwhile across the country, almost 12,500 coronavirus tests have been booked for care home staff, according to the industry regulator.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has been working with adult social care providers to set aside slots at national testing centres to “give care staff more peace of mind about their own safety”.
According to the CQC, 12,422 appointments have been booked since April 10.
The commission is also co-ordinating tests for other frontline staff not covered by existing testing schemes, such as GPs and doctors’ surgery staff.
The CQC said staff are able to speak out “without any fear of blame or reprisal” when raising issues in homes.
Ian Trenholm, chief executive of CQC, said: “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.”
One of the widely reported concerns in care homes has been a lack of available personal protective equipment (PPE).
One of the Government’s top advisers on Covid-19 has said there needs to be “a more adult” conversation regarding lingering questions over the availability of PPE for frontline workers in hospitals and care homes, saying there was “a huge pull on services”.
Dr Jenny Harries said: “I think we perhaps need to – rather than lumping all of the PPE together, which is not a homogeneous mix at all – we just need to think carefully through what has been achieved and the challenges which are acknowledged ahead.”