Routine Covid testing in hospitals and care homes to end

Testing will now be carried out on an individual basis rather than a routine policy.

Routine Covid testing in Scotland’s hospitals and care homes to end STV News

Routine Covid testing in Scottish hospitals, care homes and prisons is being scaled back in line with the latest clinical guidance.

The success of the vaccination programme and treatments means testing will now be carried out on an individual basis rather than a routine policy.

However routine testing will continue for patients moving from hospitals to care homes and will be reviewed based on future advice.

The new guidance will come into effect at the end of August.

It comes after Public Health Scotland and the Scottish Government announced that winter Covid vaccines had been scrapped for healthy under-65s.

This year’s winter flu and coronavirus boosters will focus on “protecting those at highest risk of becoming seriously ill”, Public Health Scotland said.

As part of this year’s programme, healthy under-65s will no longer routinely be offered a Covid-19 booster jag – whereas last year, all people over 50 were given the option.

The decision follows advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Scotland’s chief medical officer Sir Gregor Smith said: “Due to the success of vaccines in protecting people, and the availability of improved treatments, now is the right time to revise the advice on routine Covid-19 testing across health and social care settings and prisons.

“This will ensure the testing regime remains effective and proportionate.

“Routine testing will remain when patients are discharged from hospital to care homes, to provide additional reassurance for these settings, and testing will still be required when clinically appropriate.

“The clinical advice tells us that focusing on the risk to individuals under general infection control procedures will allow our hospital, social care and prison staff to better protect those in their care and that there is no longer a requirement to apply separate Covid-19 guidance across the board when so many are now protected from its worst harms.”

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