Worthing charity Guild Care is lobbying for Covid testing of staff to be extended across the social care sector.

Chair of the Board of Trustees, Antonia Hopkins, has written a letter to MPs and the leader of the opposition Rt Hon Sir Keir Starmer MP explaining the charity’s wish to expand testing of all its care support staff.

Antonia Hopkins said in the letter: “Currently staff and residents in our care homes are regularly tested, but we believe this should be extended to employees across all of our social care support services such as home care and day centres for adults with learning disabilities. This needs to be brought to the attention of our local MPs and the Government.”

It was following a recent meeting with employee representatives on the charity’s Staff Voice Group, that several members put forward their concerns to senior management about testing.

Alex Brooks-Johnson, interim CEO at Guild Care, added: “Some members of our Staff Voice group, which is a collective representation of employees, expressed concerns about the fact that we aren’t able to routinely test our Home Care and Community Services colleagues for Coronavirus, unlike our Care Home staff who are tested every week. We are doing all we can to minimise the risk but want to urge the Government to consider including all social care staff in testing.

“Since the letter was sent from our Chair, we have been contacted by the former Secretary of State for Health, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP. Mr Hunt said he now shared these concerns with the rest of the Government’s Health and Social Care Select Committee, which he Chairs. Let’s hope that this brings the changes needed to protect all care staff on the frontline and well as protecting our charity and other care providers against litigious action related to Covid-19.”