More than 200 very high-risk elderly people living in Northern Ireland, and the staff who care for them, have never been tested for Covid, it can be revealed.
he pensioners, all in their 80s and 90s, have gone nine months without testing because of a technicality which means they are not designated as living in a care home.
Although they are all frail and vulnerable, and some are in the early stages of dementia, they are classified as living in ‘supported housing’ because they wash and dress themselves and their medical needs are provided by outside domiciliary carers coming into the properties.
After the Belfast Telegraph raised the plight of residents in 35 Abbeyfield residential homes across Northern Ireland, Health Minister Robin Swann pledged to “prioritise the provision of routine testing for supported living accommodation”. That will apply not just to Abbeyfield but across the sector.
Abbeyfield welcomed the news