ovid-19 testing amongst NHS and care residence workers with no signs in England is to be “paused” on the finish of August, officers have introduced.
The Division of Well being and Social Care mentioned the choice to cease all “asymptomatic testing” comes as instances of the virus proceed to fall.
However the Royal Faculty of Nursing (RCN) mentioned nurses “should proceed to have entry to free testing and high-quality private protecting gear”.
Routine asymptomatic testing for the final inhabitants stopped earlier this yr and assessments had been now not free to entry for most of the people.
From 31 August, we’ll pause routine asymptomatic testing in most high-risk settings
However well being and social care leaders referred to as for testing amongst NHS and care workers to proceed amid excessive case numbers.
Testing for employees and sufferers with out signs continued in NHS, social care and a few jail settings.
The division mentioned that it made the choice to pause routine testing for most individuals with out signs from August 31, however it’s going to resume the programme “ought to or not it’s wanted”.
Asymptomatic testing will stay in place for folks being admitted hospices and for these going into care properties and for immunocompromised sufferers who’re being admitted to hospital, it mentioned.
Testing for folks with signs will proceed in some NHS, social care and jail system settings.
It will embody NHS workers with signs; sufferers who want a prognosis to allow them to entry Covid-19 remedies; care residence and hospice workers; social care workers; hospice and care residence residents; jail workers and detainees and workers and repair customers of sure home abuse refuges and homelessness providers.
Well being and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay mentioned: “Because of the success of our world-leading vaccination roll-out, we’re capable of proceed dwelling with Covid and, from 31 August, we’ll pause routine asymptomatic testing in most high-risk settings.
“This displays the very fact case charges have fallen and the danger of transmission has decreased, although we’ll proceed to intently monitor the scenario and work with sectors to renew testing ought to or not it’s wanted.
“These being admitted into care properties will proceed to be examined.
“Our upcoming autumn booster programme will supply jabs to guard these at best danger from extreme Covid, and I urge everybody who’s eligible to take up the supply.”
Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser to the UK Well being Safety Company, mentioned: “Covid case charges and hospitalisations are on the decline, demonstrating the constructive affect of the vaccines, which stay our greatest type of defence. The information from our surveillance reveals prevalence is low and reducing, and we’ll proceed to watch this knowledge intently.
“In case you are invited to obtain a booster jab within the autumn, or when you have not but had a Covid vaccine, please do take up the supply to guard your self and people round you.”
Patricia Marquis, director for England on the RCN, mentioned: “Nursing workers are solely too conscious of the horrible toll the failure to check can have on a few of their most weak sufferers.
“Instances of Covid-19 could be falling however this virus has nonetheless not gone away, and it is important that there’s continued vigilance to make sure sufferers and nursing workers usually are not put in danger.
“Nursing workers should proceed to have entry to free testing and high-quality private protecting gear.
“Threat assessments, in step with well being and security laws, must be undertaken by all healthcare workers.
This coverage has been rushed by means of with no session and with out sharing the information on whether or not asymptomatic testing helps to maintain folks in care protected
“Now we have all come a good distance and should not danger any backwards step when well being providers are already beneath monumental strain.”
Helen Wildbore, director of the Kinfolk and Residents Affiliation, mentioned: “This coverage has been rushed by means of with no session and with out sharing the information on whether or not asymptomatic testing helps to maintain folks in care protected.”
Sara Gorton, head of well being at Unison, mentioned: “Clearing remedy backlogs and coping with all the opposite NHS pressures depends on limiting the unfold of coronavirus an infection in well being settings as a lot as attainable.
“NHS workers had been already alarmed that final month’s withdrawal of Covid pay and go away measures might be a backward step. Dishing out with testing necessities will make them much more apprehensive about security and the resilience of providers.”