Physiotherapy profession calls for Covid-19 testing for healthcare staff

The CSP has joined a call for regular asymptomatic Covid-19 testing for healthcare professionals.

Regular asymptomatic Covid-19 testing should be available for all healthcare professionals

In a joint letter to health secretary Matt Hancock, the CSP and other professional bodies said:

'Our main concerns with the current Department of Health and Social Care approach are that asymptomatic testing is not routine, not regular and that it may be more difficult for healthcare professionals working in the charitable and independent sectors to access testing.

'We believe this is not in the interests of patient or staff safety.'

Testing should be available for those staff who:

  • may be at higher risk themselves due to having long term health conditions, their age, race or other factors
  • treat patients diagnosed with Covid
  • treat patients who are at higher risk.

Declining care

Some patients were declining needed care because of concerns about contracting Covid from healthcare professionals, Mr Hancock was told.

'Some care homes are refusing access to patients if clinicians have not been regularly tested. This is particularly concerning given the effects from the lockdown has led to reduced activity levels for some patients, leading to an increase in MSK conditions.

'Given the expanding capacity of Public Health England and NHS labs to offer more tests, we believe it is a priority to introduce regular asymptomatic testing for healthcare professionals across all sectors.'

Private physios

Physio First, the professional network for self-employed private physiotherapists, backed the letter co-ordinated by the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance.

'We are keen to support testing for all healthcare professionals,' said Physio First chair Karen Lay.

'The access to testing for those of us working in private practice is difficult and we want to continue to offer face to face treatment for our patients. 

'The reassurance of an available test is part of our necessary risk management control measures so in our view is essential.'

Covid testing for healthcare professionals -- letter to the health secretary

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