HEALTH minister Vaughan Gething has said that care home staff “should not be angry” about his comments on a lack of evidence on care home Covid-19 cases.

Mr Gething said that there “is no evidence to suggest” that discharging more than 1,000 untested patients to care homes in March and April caused an increase in cases.

Care Forum Wales said in June that care homes felt under pressure to take hospital patients without tests in March and April, when 1,097 untested patients were introduced into care homes.

Mr Gething, speaking on BBC Politics Wales, said it is “clear there are individual cases within the sector that are unacceptable”, but added “there is no direct evidence to suggest this caused an increase”.

“I was speaking about the level of evidence we had at the time and now, and with that knowledge we had we stopped visitors going into care homes and tested residents and staff,” he said. “But to try and pick on one particular issue is not possible.

“Transmission comes in a variety of different routes – some residents come in and out [of the care homes] as part of normal daily activities.”


Mr Gething said an improvement programme is under way and is being constantly reviewed to help catch cases as early as possible, but he is aware some care home staff are still waiting more than a week for results.

“We need to improve across the board over the next few weeks,” he said. “We’re not going to stop doing this at the end of next month. We have to prepare for serious work over many months.

“The great majority of time people are getting results promptly.”

Across Wales in the week up to June 27, success rate for tracking down people who might have Covid-19 through the contact tracing system stood at 84 per cent, which Mr Gething said he was pleased with.

However, he added he didn’t know how quickly the test results were being received, and agreed the system relies on a quick turnaround.

“Part of the challenge is looking at improving speed,” he said. “We’re providing more information on speed and need to get data right – it isn’t clear what speed we are getting to these people.”