Coronavirus: Hospitals discharged more than 230 without tests

Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon Image copyright PA Media
Image caption North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust runs three hospitals including Hinchingbrooke in Huntingdon

More than 200 patients were discharged into care homes without being tested for Covid-19 by a trust which runs three hospitals, it has been revealed.

Between 1 March and 15 April, North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust (NWAFT) discharged 273 people to care homes, 39 of whom were tested.

The trust runs Peterborough City Hospital, Hinchingbrooke Hospital and Stamford and Rutland Hospital.

The trust has said it was following guidance at the time.

On 15 April national guidance changed and instructed hospitals to test patients prior to discharging them to care homes.

The figures from NWAFT, given in response to a Freedom of Information request by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, found 234 people discharged to care homes were not tested.

Of the 39 that were tested, eight people tested positive prior to their discharge.

NWAFT said it could not say what the time period was between the tests of those that tested positive and their discharge into care homes.

The chief operating officer for NWAFT, Graham Wilde, said: "Following government guidance the trust introduced Covid-19 testing for all patients that are being discharged to a care facility on 15 April.

"Prior to this, patients were only tested if they were displaying symptoms of Covid-19. This was in accordance with government guidelines at the time."

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has also previously said that 116 people had been discharged from Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge to care homes without a test between 1 March and 15 April.

That trust also said it was following the national guidelines and testing those with symptoms in that period.

Care Quality Commission data shows there have been 140 deaths in care homes involving a confirmed or suspected Covid-19 case in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough between 10 April and 26 June.

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