* From left, Old Vicarage residents and staff highlight the need for general testing by holding up a banner outside the home.
After hearing the concerns of a Llangollen care home boss about the lack of Covid-19 testing for all residents and staff Clwyd South Senedd Member Ken Skates raised the issue with the Welsh Government, he says.
And at the weekend the campaign paid off after Health Minister Vaughan Gething announced that Coronavirus testing will be extended across the board.
Ken Skates said: "I raised the issue of testing for care home residents and staff with the Welsh Government after Bethan and other local people contacted me with their concerns.
"I know from visiting care homes in our area what a remarkable job they do, and I'm acutely aware that they are all having to deal with the many new challenges that coronavirus has brought on top of the usual demands of providing professional and compassionate care to the people they look after.
"I welcome this announcement by the Health Minister and hope it provides reassurance that the Welsh Government is committed to supporting our care homes."
From this week every care homes in Wales will have access to testing.
Care homes who have not reported an outbreak or any cases of coronavirus will be able to use an online portal to order testing kits for their residents and staff.
Test kits would be provided for the whole care home, this includes all residents and staff. The system will be rolled out shortly.
The new policy will be in an addition to the existing testing arrangements that test:
- all residents and staff of care homes with ongoing cases prior to May
- all residents and staff members of care homes reporting an outbreak
- all residents and staff in the larger care homes, with more than 50 beds.
- all individuals being discharged from hospital to live in care homes regardless of whether or not they were admitted to hospital with COVID-19.
- all people who are being transferred between care homes and for new admissions from the community.
“We have been very clear in our approach that our strategy is about reducing harm first and we will adapt policies in order to do this. Today is a step change in how we will be testing in care homes, adapting our policy so that every resident and member of staff can be tested for Coronavirus.
“I hope this brings further reassurance to those living and working in care homes and their families.”
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