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Warning over access to COVID-19 testing for rural social care sector

Papers including the Northumberland Gazette, Care Talk and Hexham Courant have identified critical challenges in delivering social care services during the pandemic, with four in five rural social care workers lacking adequate access to COVID-19 testing

The papers reported on the news that seven in ten of those questioned by the Rural Services Network, warned that social care workers in their local authority area were having to travel at least half an hour by car to access their nearest COVID-19 testing facility, with nearly a quarter having to travel up to an hour.

Only 15 percent reported having access to the closest site in less than a half an hour drive.

The articles call on the Government to assist with the holes in the social care budgets, or risk threatening the survival of care homes or related services in rural areas altogether.

The articles include a quote from Graham Biggs calling on the Government to complete its Fair Funding Review, and for additional funding for rural councils to meet service needs and the costs associated with the pandemic.

Full articles:

Northumberland Gazette - Northumberland social care staff 'struggling to get coronavirus tests', study finds

Care Talk - Warning over access to COVID-19 testing for rural social care sector

Hexham Courant - Covid-19 testing concerns for Northumberland social care sector

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