A Covid-19 test with 20-minute result 'may allow care home visits'

A Covid-19 test which can give results in 20 minutes may mean relatives could visit loved ones in care homes, the chief executive of Care England has said.

Professor Martin Green told MPs on the Health and Social Care Committee that access to testing has been "patchy", and called for a clearer, more centralised system.

He also highlighted the potential of a rapid coronavirus test which is currently being piloted. Prof Green, whose organisation represents independent care providers, said the test could allow external visitors after care homes closed their doors early in the outbreak.

The pilot of the rapid swab test began in Hampshire last month after it proved effective in clinical settings. The swab test is being used in a number of A&E departments, GP testing hubs and care homes in the county.

Announcing the trial in May, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "This new test could provide accurate results almost on the spot. This could change the way that we control Covid-19 across the country, getting those with negative results back into society as quickly as possible."