Satellite testing site for care homes in Scarborough steps up fight against Covid-19

A satellite Covid-19 testing site to serve North Yorkshire’s care homes in the east of the county started operation from Scarborough last Friday with the provision of up to 500 testing swabs a day.
A county council driver prepares to deliver tests for the care sector satellite testing unit in Scarborough.A county council driver prepares to deliver tests for the care sector satellite testing unit in Scarborough.
A county council driver prepares to deliver tests for the care sector satellite testing unit in Scarborough.

This marks a significant step forward in the fight against Covid-19 in the county’s care settings to improve radically the speed and quantity of testing and turnaround in results.

It complements testing provision for care settings in the western side of North Yorkshire which already operates from a satellite site in Bradford.

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The Scarborough testing site was negotiated and agreed with the Department for Health and Social Care by the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum, a multi-agency task force which represents the county’s first responders.

Richard Flinton, chairman of the NYLRF and North Yorkshire County Council’s Chief Executive, said: “From the outset we have been vigilant to the threat of Covid-19 in the care sector and have been working closely with the sector and with partners to contain outbreaks of the virus as well as supporting the NHS and our hospitals.

“We hope that this will be a step forward in speeding up and managing the testing operation so that we can track and contain the virus with greatest effect and efficiency.”

This latest development follows major changes to the county council’s social care services and a whole raft of measures for care settings undertaken in partnership with the care sector (supported by the Independent Care Group umbrella organisation), along with the Care Quality Commission and the NHS, to tackle the impact of the virus and to keep people safe and well.

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Mike Padgham, Chairman of the Independent Care Group and Managing Director of social care provider St Cecilia’s in Scarborough, said: “The setting up of the satellite testing station for the sector in Scarborough is extremely welcome and a big step forward in the fight against the virus.

“The joint working with the county council is invaluable for care providers as we tackle the impact of coronavirus.

“It is sometimes a challenge to explain the measures we are taking as care providers but our aim has always been to do our best for our own residents and staff and to play our part in supporting our hospitals and caring for those with Covid-19 in this area.”

Richard Webb, the county council’s Director of Health and Adult Services, said the care sector in North Yorkshire employed 17,000 people whose work is fundamental to meeting the challenges of Covid-19 and to keeping people safe and well looked after.

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“We owe a great debt of gratitude to all that the county’s care homes, home care and other care providers are doing right now and we are working very closely with them to track and manage the virus and people’s well-being,” he said.

“Support includes trying to help cover staffing absences, training, infection control, zoning homes to protect people from Covid-19 and pushing for supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as helping to implement national guidance on safe practice.”