To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans are in place to protect staff and patients in hospices from covid-19; and whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of introducing weekly testing for staff in hospices in line with the policy in care homes.
12 January 2021
Hospices have made an incredible contribution during this difficult time going beyond their provision of end of life care, reducing pressure on the wider health and care system and supporting patient choices and outcomes.
The Government has helped hospices get the equipment they need to protect staff and patients. Personal protective equipment push pallet arrangements have been in place since May, providing regular equipment deliveries via central delivery points. The equipment delivered in this way is free of charge to hospices.
The Department is aware that routine asymptomatic testing for hospice staff is a key concern in the sector and is looking urgently at this issue. Anyone working in healthcare with symptoms can already access testing as a priority, including hospice staff.