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7 May 2020

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals extends COVID-19 testing service

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals in partnership with NHS Sheffield CCG have now extended their COVID-19 testing services to be able to offer Sheffield nursing and care homes tests for their staff if they develop symptoms.

The offer of testing is part of a package of measures Sheffield Teaching Hospitals has put in place to try and support care homes during the outbreak.

The CCG and Primary Care Sheffield have established drive through COVID-19 testing facilities at different locations across the city where Care and Nursing home staff can be swabbed. The samples will be analysed by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals laboratory teams as part of the service established several weeks ago for hospital and community services staff and patients. The testing will enable care/nursing home staff to self-isolate if positive or return to work if negative.

As well as offering to test care home staff if they show symptoms of the virus, the Trust has also been testing all patients who are due to be discharged back to a care home for the virus regardless of why they were in hospital for care. Each patient has a test before they are discharged to the care home and they are then given a leaflet with their test result, date of testing and any precautions which need to be put in place such as PPE or other infection control measures. The home and the patient’s GP also receive a copy of this information. The hospital discharge team then have a detailed discussion to ensure the home has all the information and support they need for that patient.

Finally the Trust and CCG has been supporting care homes who need specialist advice on infection control, fit testing of PPE, and also with PPE equipment if a care home runs out in between deliveries.

Dr David Hughes, Medical Director, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:

“It has never been more important for services across the city to work together and offer mutual support where we can. Care homes are having a very difficult time due to the fact that this virus is prevalent in our community and be transmitted very quickly in multiple occupation buildings. It becomes even more challenging with individuals who may have dementia or other conditions where it is difficult to contain their movements. Having their staff at work is critical and so we have offered all care homes in the City the opportunity to have their staff tested if they display symptoms of the virus. This will also mean if a member of staff does have the virus, they can quickly self-isolate and prevent any spread to residents or other colleagues. We are also testing all of our patients who have been in hospital and are due to return back to their care home or a new care home. Finally we are fortunate to have national and international experts in virology, infection control and infectious diseases who work at our hospitals and so we are offering advice and support to care homes if they need it particularly on PPE.”

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We are sorry but due to the additional workload on our clinical and non-clinical teams relating to COVID-19 we cannot offer interviews or filming opportunities for this media release at this time.

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