Care home staff testing for Covid

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
750
During my weekly call from the care home today the subject off staff being tested for Covid came up. I was shocked when the member staff said I’ve decided I’m not going to take the test as I would be gagging, it’s not a nice experience and I’ve no symptoms. She goes home every night to her husband and family who all work in different industries so are daily coming into contact with lots of other people who in turn may have family members who have been infected. It is a council run home so I have e mailed someone who is above the manager of the home to find out why it isn’t compulsory.
I don’t know what other people’s views are on this stance, but, I would have thought when they looking after frail, vulnerable, elderly people who susceptible to infections that it would be prudent to have all staff tested.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,995
North West
During my weekly call from the care home today the subject off staff being tested for Covid came up. I was shocked when the member staff said I’ve decided I’m not going to take the test as I would be gagging, it’s not a nice experience and I’ve no symptoms. She goes home every night to her husband and family who all work in different industries so are daily coming into contact with lots of other people who in turn may have family members who have been infected. It is a council run home so I have e mailed someone who is above the manager of the home to find out why it isn’t compulsory.
I don’t know what other people’s views are on this stance, but, I would have thought when they looking after frail, vulnerable, elderly people who susceptible to infections that it would be prudent to have all staff tested.
No test can be compulsory because of the matter of consent. How the care home then manages this is dependent on their own working policies, I would think in the circumstances a refusal to be tested would eventually become a concern for the employer and they would have to address how they move forward.
A petition was declined last month for compulsory testing, see the link:
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,459
No test can be compulsory because of the matter of consent.
The residents in mum's care home were all tested but consent wasn't sought first, they just got put on a list and were tested. I think all the staff have now been tested too but realistically there needs to be a regular testing programme in place for care homes as a 'one off' test will only show if someone had the virus on that date. In New York care home workers have to be tested twice a week or the home loses its licence to operate: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-52610575
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
750
No test can be compulsory because of the matter of consent. How the care home then manages this is dependent on their own working policies, I would think in the circumstances a refusal to be tested would eventually become a concern for the employer and they would have to address how they move forward.
A petition was declined last month for compulsory testing, see the link:
Thanks for replying, as I said I’ve emailed the council so I’ll see what they have to say
Take care
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,995
North West
The residents in mum's care home were all tested but consent wasn't sought first, they just got put on a list and were tested. I think all the staff have now been tested too but realistically there needs to be a regular testing programme in place for care homes as a 'one off' test will only show if someone had the virus on that date. In New York care home workers have to be tested twice a week or the home loses its licence to operate: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-52610575
Hmm I honestly don't see what the problem is with testing for coronavirus, but currently those who can consent may refuse -though I haven't personally experienced anyone refusing a test. If PHE were swabbing for a genetic sample and refusal then that would be certianly very different to swabbing for coronavirus and refusing because 'it may make someone gag'. I think compulsory testing for coronavirus could be justified if it came down to it, but we have a high ethical threshold in the UK.

The CH scenario is tricky as I'm guessing many will have been tested by implied consent and those who cannot consent done on best interests??
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,164
Victoria, Australia
My daughter has just been tested for Covid 19 and she said that it wasn't very pleasant but the nasal swabs were the worst bit. I asked her about the mouth swab and she said that she didn't think it would make anyone gag.

I think it would be interesting to know if that was the real reason for the worker's refusal to take the test.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
634
The test made me gag.
Is the real reason for the false negatives that the samples are not being taken from far enough into the mouth and nose?
A Very good reason for declining a covid test would be the fact that a positive result would stop the staff member working bank shifts. ( Not saying I agree ! Please don't shoot the messenger!
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,459
Is the real reason for the false negatives that the samples are not being taken from far enough into the mouth and nose?
I don't know about 'false negatives' but Mum's test result came back as unclear/inconclusive so she has had to have another swab test. Apparently quite a few residents in the home had the same result so it could be due to the samples not having been taken properly.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,995
North West
Good points @Weasell and @Lawson58, I guess we will never know peoples true motives for the actions they take. On reflection I would think any care worker will find it increasingly difficult to work if they have avoided testing as it finally starts to ramp up. It may be that employers begin to insist on a test result, leaving the decision to be tested to the individual?? But we have to be fair in this, social care work is notoriously under paid and under valued in the UK, its not surprising that some would be financially pushed to their limits if they had to isolate for two weeks on even lower pay or in some instances no pay. I was shocked at how much the home carers were paid that visited mum and they have to pay out of their own money fuel costs for running from house to house. I'm not excusing refusal to be tested, but it doesn't take a genius to realise many underlying problems can lead to concerns over being tested by some. There are also those who for whatever reason just simply don't like the thought of a swab up their nose or down their throat -but if this is going to work then everyone will have to be tested who works in social care as well as the NHS
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,459

JustDina

New member
May 15, 2020
1
During my weekly call from the care home today the subject off staff being tested for Covid came up. I was shocked when the member staff said I’ve decided I’m not going to take the test as I would be gagging, it’s not a nice experience and I’ve no symptoms. She goes home every night to her husband and family who all work in different industries so are daily coming into contact with lots of other people who in turn may have family members who have been infected. It is a council run home so I have e mailed someone who is above the manager of the home to find out why it isn’t compulsory.
I don’t know what other people’s views are on this stance, but, I would have thought when they looking after frail, vulnerable, elderly people who susceptible to infections that it would be prudent to have all staff tested.
Regular tests for people working in healthcare
 

Quizbunny

Registered User
Nov 20, 2011
121
My daughter in laws family recently went for booked testing as a key workers family. When they got to the testing centre they were given testing swab kits and told to self swab. None of them were at all sure that they were doing it correctly and indeed all tests came back as negative. The family member who was displaying symptoms actually became unwell enough to be taken to hospital the day after receiving the negative result and was told that they were fairly certain he did have the virus and had had a false negative test result. Perhaps non health professionals should not be administrating the test, on themselves or indeed others.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,995
North West
Well the question is answered from today all care home staff and residents to be tested symptoms or not -just heard on Radio 4
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
750
Well the question is answered from today all care home staff and residents to be tested symptoms or not -just heard on Radio 4
That’s reassuring, I’ve not had a reply to my email I sent to the council yet, so won’t hear till next week now probably. I’ll let you know what they say.
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,459
Yes, it's good news although it's not really a new announcement, just a slight change of wording - it was first announced on 28th April that "all care home staff & residents would be able to access tests, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not", and also the 'Plan' that was published on Monday stated: "the Government is offering a COVID-19 test to every staff member and resident in every care home in England, whether symptomatic or not; by 6 June, every care home for the over 65s will have been offered testing for residents and staff.". All residents & staff in mum's home were tested last week.
 

Baker17

Registered User
Mar 9, 2016
750
Yes, it's good news although it's not really a new announcement, just a slight change of wording - it was first announced on 28th April that "all care home staff & residents would be able to access tests, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not", and also the 'Plan' that was published on Monday stated: "the Government is offering a COVID-19 test to every staff member and resident in every care home in England, whether symptomatic or not; by 6 June, every care home for the over 65s will have been offered testing for residents and staff.". All residents & staff in mum's home were tested last week.
So it is just saying they can ACCESS tests, not that that they have to be tested. As I said previously I’ll see what the reply to my e mail says
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,459
Yes, best to see what the local authority say as the various messages are changing slightly and are not always clear - today's was the most recent message and said that staff & residents "will be tested'' rather than will have access to tests or be offered tests.