MP's shocking story of coronavirus tests delayed in reaching care home

1 April 2020, 16:41

By Fiona Jones

Labour MP Peter Kyle told LBC the truly shocking story of what happened when coronavirus tests were delayed in arriving to a care home in his constituency - and how it spurred him to write to the PM.

Labour MP for Brighton and Hove Peter Kyle has written to the PM urging him to facilitate much faster testing for people who work in care homes and provide any sort of at-home service.

Mr Kyle was inspired to write on the behalf of a 94 year old constituent who developed coronavirus symptoms; the staff in the care home followed government regulation and applied for tests which took ten days to arrive.

"By the time the test had been taken, 14 other residents were symptomatic of coronavirus," said the MP, "seven staff were off sick because they were self-isolating. One of whom, incidentally, is in intensive care now."

Labour MP says it is "imperative" to test care home workers for Covid-19
Labour MP says it is "imperative" to test care home workers for Covid-19. Picture: PA

"None of the protective equipment arrived - so all of this happened in that time and very very sadly he has now died," Mr Kyle said, referring to the constituent.

"There is another care home which also has residents who are exhibiting symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus.

Mr Kyle said the key issue is that the seven staff who were off sick in the first care home were agency staff, working between three or four care homes in the space of a week.

"The system of the way we operate social care in this country and we operate staffing for care homes is actually facilitating a contagion of Covid-19. It is absolutely imperative that we have to start testing the people who go into care homes to work."

Shelagh agreed that the most vulnerable must be "cocooned and ring-fenced", sharing that she has prevented carers from coming in to her own mothers home to stop any potential spread.