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A visitor testing scheme that was trialled at Montrose House care home in Brodick has proven successful and will now be rolled out nationwide.
The testing pilot, which involved three care homes in North Ayrshire, Dreghorn’s Shalom care home, Moorburn Manor in Largs and Montrose House in Arran, allowed families visiting their loved ones to receive test results ahead of visits last month.
The news was welcomed by families of residents, particularly after a number of Covid outbreaks have resulted in devastating consequences for a number of care homes across Scotland since the start of the pandemic.
The trial, which started on Monday December 7, was undertaken in 14 care homes across North Ayrshire, Fife, Argyll and Bute, Inverclyde, and Aberdeenshire and involved lateral flow testing of designated visitors.
A North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership spokesperson said: ‘We can confirm that three North Ayrshire care homes took part in the Scottish Government’s lateral flow Covid-19 testing pilot programme for visitors in December 2020. These were Montrose House on Arran, Moorburn Manor in Largs, and Shalom in Dreghorn.
‘Being able to confirm negative results on the day of visiting, and respond to any positive results, enhances safe practice and offers a degree of assurance to all involved.
‘It is emphasised that testing regimes are in addition to all other infection prevention and control behaviours that continue, such as the use of PPE, social distancing and hand hygiene.
‘Whilst safety of care home residents, staff and visitors is paramount, and indoor care home visits are currently limited nationally in line with Scottish Government guidelines, we recognise the emotional demands this places on residents and families.
‘Being at the fore of the pilot on visitor testing has helped inform the wider care home community in delivering their visitor testing regimes, which are now in place across all of North Ayrshire.’