Care home staff have complained they are yet to receive weekly tests for staff – three weeks on from when the government had promised.

Sandra Griffiths, a senior health care assistant at Beechlands care home in Loughton, said she felt lied to by the government.

The government had promised to roll out weekly testing for staff from Monday, July 6 at care homes for over 65s – of which Beechlands.

Ms Griffiths said: “The government said all care home staff will be tested weekly and residents monthly, this hasn’t happened. It is another lie.

“We have been emailed saying there is a backlog, and we have only ever been tested once.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “Beechlands have received over 140 testing kits since May, we are aware they have recently requested additional kits which we are processing and will dispatch as soon as possible.”

However, it is over three weeks since the government announced care home staff would be given coronavirus tests every week and residents monthly from “to identify anyone with the virus and reduce transmission”.

When announcing the initiative, health and social care secretary, Matt Hancock said: “Our response to this global pandemic has always been led by the latest scientific advice from world-class experts, and we will now offer repeat testing to staff and residents in care homes, starting with homes for elderly residents before expanding to the entire care home sector.

“This will not only keep residents and care workers safe, but it will give certainty and peace of mind to the families who may be worried about their loved ones, and give staff the confidence to do what they do best.

“Over the following 4 weeks, retesting will have been rolled out to all care homes for over 65s and those with dementia who have registered to receive retesting. Repeat testing will be extended to include all care homes for working age adults in August.”

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