The Strangford MLA was speaking after it was announced the move will take place from this Monday. Health service staff and people eligible for new Covid treatments will still have access to the free tests. However, as many day centres and respite care facilities still require a lateral flow test, it puts into question how the move will affect day care provision.
“It is welcome that the rate of Covid in Northern Ireland has fallen since its peak earlier in the summer. However, clarification is needed from health Trusts on how the move to end free lateral flow tests will affect respite and day care provision,” said Ms Armstrong, the Chair of the Assembly All-Party Group (APG) on learning disability.
“Proactive action needs to be taken to ensure respite services and day care services are reinstated to pre-pandemic levels. It is unfair these were the first services removed and are the last to be reinstated as we move out of this crisis.
“It is having a negative impact on both the mental and physical health of both carers and the people they look after. The APG on learning disability is seeking clarification from the Department of Health to seek assurances these services will be resumed as soon as possible.”