ROUTINE Covid testing in Scottish hospitals, care homes and prisons is being scaled back in line with the latest clinical guidance, the Government has announced.

The success of the vaccination programme and treatments means testing will now be carried out on an individual basis rather than a routine policy.

However routine testing will continue for patients moving from hospitals to care homes and will be reviewed based on future advice.

The new guidance will come into effect at the end of August.

Scotland’s chief medical officer Sir Gregor Smith said: “Due to the success of vaccines in protecting people, and the availability of improved treatments, now is the right time to revise the advice on routine Covid-19 testing across health and social care settings and prisons.

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“This will ensure the testing regime remains effective and proportionate.

“Routine testing will remain when patients are discharged from hospital to care homes, to provide additional reassurance for these settings, and testing will still be required when clinically appropriate.

“The clinical advice tells us that focusing on the risk to individuals under general infection control procedures will allow our hospital, social care and prison staff to better protect those in their care and that there is no longer a requirement to apply separate Covid-19 guidance across the board when so many are now protected from its worst harms.”

In the frequently asked questions section of the guidance, one part reads: "I am still worried about my risk from Covid-19. What support is available from my employer (NHS staff only) to keep me safe at work?".

The response is: "The pausing of routine testing follows the latest clinical guidance, and standard infection prevention and control measures remain in place. Staff are expected to manage their risk in relation to Covid-19 in much the same way as any other respiratory infection.

"If you are still concerned about your risks to Covid-19 following the pause of testing, you should speak to your manager about a personal risk assessment. Your manager may consider a referral to Occupational Health as part of this."