Covid-19: Leader of the Opposition renews urgent call for universal care home testing

Responding to the First Minister’s statement today (May 6), the Leader of the Opposition in the Welsh Parliament – Paul Davies MS – renewed the call for comprehensive and universal testing in care homes, a view shared by stakeholders including the Older People's Commissioner Helena Herklots.

Mr Davies, referring to comments made by Care Forum Wales, said that the Welsh Labour-led Government should commit to testing all care home residents and staff, so that the sector is not seen as “collateral damage" in the struggle against Covid-19.

He noted that the Welsh Government has changed its policy on testing in care, and said:

“Last week you told us that there was no clinical value in extending the tests further and yet clearly that clinical value has been found, and so the people of Wales deserve transparency and to know what exactly new clinical evidence the Welsh Government has received.”

Mr Davies also pressed the First Minister for clarification over the Welsh Government’s approach to working with the UK Government on a “track and trace” smartphone app.

Following the exchange, Mr Davies said:

“The First Minister had the perfect opportunity today to stop his dithering and answer some pretty direct questions with equally direct answers, and yet he didn’t.

“The people of Wales need to see Governments working together at this time of national crisis and the Welsh Government need to work in tandem with the UK Government where it can – this includes universal testing for all residents and staff in care homes.

“Action to ensure that Wales is on a level playing field with the rest of the UK is needed – and it’s crucial that the Welsh Government drops its political agenda and works with the UK Government in the national public interest.”