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Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, sent the below letter to the Prime Minister today.


Dear Prime Minister,

I have been told today that 30% of Covid-19 tests for care home staff in Portsmouth City Council care homes are not having a result sent back. I was shocked by this, but was told that this situation is improving.

It is an impossible situation for people to run care homes safely and efficiently if they do not get the results of Covid-19 tests sent back accurately and in a timely way. A 30% failure rate in sending back test results is just not good enough.

Please can you get the Test and Trace system to work properly so that we have the ability to identify care staff who have caught the virus and send them home so they do not pass on infections to other care staff or residents in care homes. This is just not good enough.

I am extremely worried that the lack of an effective and efficient testing system means that it will become increasingly difficult to run the care sector and look after vulnerable residents through the winter. If staff have to wait for test results that do not arrive, and cannot work until they do, the number of people who are available to work in care homes will be put under great stress. This could lead to a disaster.

Yours sincerely,
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson