Unpaid carers offered community testing - Public Health Dorset
Unpaid carers offered community testing
Unpaid carers now have access to weekly lateral flow device (LFD) testing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect loved ones.
One in three people who have COVID-19 show no symptoms and can therefore spread it without knowing. The aim of asymptomatic testing is to identify cases quickly and to break the chains of transmission.
An unpaid carer is anyone who cares for a friend or family member who, due to a lifelong condition, illness, disability, serious injury, a mental health condition or an addiction, would not cope without their support. Unpaid care can include a range of activities including personal care such as washing, dressing or help with eating and drinking, as well as support with laundry, cooking, shopping and cleaning.
This is the next part of Dorset Rapid Community Testing Programme. Essential businesses and organisations and frontline council staff already have access to weekly lateral flow testing if they are unable to work at home due to the nature of their job.
It is important that unpaid carers can commit to attending a test site up to twice a week for six weeks.
Cllr Karen Rampton, BCP Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Health and Social Care said: “It’s so important that we can help families who are looking after loved ones at this difficult time, so I’m delighted that asymptomatic weekly testing is now available to unpaid carers.
“Unpaid carers give up their time and energy to provide essential care to friends and family members, and we want to make sure they are well supported. I would also urge any unpaid carers in the local community to sign up to our carers’ information service and to take advantage of other local support available.”
Cllr Laura Miller, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health said: “I really encourage all unpaid carers to take the opportunity to have weekly asymptomatic testing.
“Unlike with businesses and organisations who are already getting tested, unpaid carers don’t need to register, they can just book an LFD test at one of our community testing sites on Public Health Dorset’s website.
The booking system is only for businesses and organisations that are part of the Dorset Rapid Testing Programme and unpaid carers.
The Dorset Rapid Community Testing Programme is a service offering weekly asymptomatic testing using lateral flow devices (LFD) for those who show no symptoms of COIVD-19. The tests are currently being offered to businesses and organisations that are currently open under COVID-19 guidelines and unpaid carers.
If anyone having tests under the programme does develop COVID-19 symptoms, they must not turn up to their LFD test. They must self-isolate and book a COVID-19 testing through the national portal www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-testor call 119.
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Unpaid carers in the BCP Council area can sign up to the Carers Resource and Information Service (CRISP) for ongoing support and information.
Carer Support Dorset supports unpaid carers in the Dorset Council area. They help carers to access services, information, education and training, and breaks from their caring role. They ensure carers have a voice that is heard and work with health and social care professionals and employers to raise carer awareness and develop best practice.