Care Home managers will have probably received a memo from the Department of Health and Social Care, wherin it is stated that people work in care homes, volunteers and visiting professionals are expected to be tested for COVID weekly.
As much as we would like to be tested regularly to reassure our patients, someone at the DoHSC unfortunately left dentists out of the equation. We have been exploring various avenues to get our weekly tests, and some managers have kindly offered to include our staff on their testing schedule. We have indeed had some tests already.
Upon seeking advice from the National Testing Centre, I was referred to the DoHSC. I just got their reply this weekend:
“Currently, regular routine testing is only available to care home staff and residents. The Department of Health and Social Care will provide further guidance regarding who is included in the definition of ‘visiting professionals’ as part of the care home regular testing programme and how this will be delivered. You do not need to take any further action at this stage.“
In view of the above, I feel it is appropriate for us to keep abreast of all developments on the matter and to act accordingly. I will encourage my staff to get regular tests if they are available to us and keep all stakeholders informed of the changing situation.