Coronavirus Testing Must be Massively Increased

We are living in uncertain and worrying times. The advent of the coronavirus has impacted on every one of us. 

Frontline work within the NHS or Social Care cannot stop, however. These sectors already work with some of the most vulnerable people in society. For those of us who commit to relationship based practice, the concept of social distancing is an alien one. 

So how can we continue to do our job while trying to keep everyone safe? The only way is to introduce mandatory testing for all staff who work with vulnerable groups - this should include, of course, NHS staff, but also carers visiting our elderly, social workers doing child protection visits, and so on. You can't protect people via skype. 

Scandalously, frontline staff are still not being routinely tested for coronavirus, meaning they could potentially be either spreading it to a vulnerable population, or contracting the disease themselves. This is total madness. Currently, the UK are carrying out 6000 tests per day. If they carry on at that rate, it will take around 35 years to test everyone in the country. The government appeared to have ignored the advice from medical experts and the World Health Organisation to "test, test, test". This, together, with their failure to provide adequate financial support to those affected by the crisis, means it has been a shambolic response. Let us hope that it doesn't cost too many lives.