The Government has delivered only “a few tests” to Jewish Care despite its earlier pledge to check all elderly care home residents and staff, the charity has revealed.
The care home provider’s chief executive Daniel Carmel-Brown made the comment during a Zoom conference call with members of South Hampstead Synagogue last week.
On the subject of testing, he told the virtual meeting: “Though there have been announcements that tests will be widely available across care homes, to date, only a few tests have been made available to us, despite our on-going requests and pressure to the authorities to receive them.
“It is something that we are very concerned about and we will continue to pursue this. We are working with the umbrella bodies in social care to campaign for more tests. Our aim is to be able to test all residents and staff.”
It was unclear whether the Government had provided more tests to Jewish Care staff and residents by the time of publication.
The Government pledged last month tests would be made available to all care home residents and staff.
When approached for comment, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “The government is working around the clock to make sure care homes and our frontline care workforce are getting the support they need to protect residents and tackle coronavirus.
“We have built the largest diagnostic testing industry in British history from scratch and all care home staff and residents can now be tested, whether they have symptoms or not, with tens of thousands already tested.”
The Department has widened capacity and expects up to 30,000 daily tests will be made available to residents and staff at all elderly care homes, whether they are showing symptoms or not, by early June.
During the Zoom meeting, Carmel-Brown also went on to praise Jewish Care’s “angels, our wonderful staff in care, nursing, management, administrators, maintenance and hospitality, who put the care and wellbeing of our residents above their families and own. We are so very grateful to them.”
“We don’t have all the answers yet. We work with the most vulnerable people and will be very cautious about how we approach the next phase but we are looking at how this will all be done,” he added.
Rabbi Eli Levin, who hosted the event, said: “It was important, insightful and reassuring to go behind the scenes with Daniel and the Jewish Care team, to hear about their journey over the last couple of months. Jewish Care is a truly remarkable organisation, one to be proud of and support.”