More than 100 Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors have been forced to self isolate during the Coronavirus pandemic due to a lack of regular testing for frontline workers.
The body told the Independent that 225 of its staff have been told to isolate since March due to concerns they may have been in contact with people positive for the virus, while 143 say they developed symptoms.
Of those who self-isolated, 103 were inspectors – nearly 10% of the CQC’s 1,300-strong inspection workforce.
The CQC urged the Department for Health and Social Care to provide testing for inspectors, many of whom visit multiple facilities caring for an extremely vulnerable population a day, but its request was denied in September.
Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, told the Independent: “Fast, accurate and widespread testing is absolutely essential to protect care home residents, staff and relatives.”
He added that he was “bemused as to why CQC inspectors are not deemed appropriate to have testing”.