Enfield Council’s leader has called on the Government to fix “flaws” in a testing scheme designed to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Cllr Nesil Caliskan has written to health secretary Matt Hancock warning less than half of the borough’s care homes had been offered mass testing of staff and residents for Covid-19 ahead of a key deadline.

It comes after official figures showed Enfield has so far recorded the highest number of care home deaths involving Covid-19 in London.

Test, track and trace is designed to alert people if they have come into contact with someone with coronavirus, allowing them to self-isolate quickly.

In May, the health secretary said: “We will test every resident and every member of staff in our elderly care homes in England between now and early June.”

The Government’s lockdown ‘roadmap’, published the same month, said: “By June 6, every care home for the over 65s will have been offered testing for residents and staff.”

But in the letter, dated June 4, Cllr Caliskan said: “On care homes, it is clear that the mass testing deadline of June 6 that the government set will be missed and there will be real and human consequences to that. At the time of writing, this has been carried out in fewer than half of our care homes in Enfield.

“Our care homes have been devastated as a result of this pandemic. A comprehensive and regular mass testing programme must be rolled out across all of our homes, including those homes for people with learning disabilities and mental ill health.”

Cllr Caliskan called for routine testing of all key workers to be central to the test, track and trace programme. She claimed just 1,000 tests had been carried out at testing facilities across the borough – a small proportion of the thousands of care workers, teachers and other frontline staff.

The council leader also repeated a call for the Government to cover the costs to local authorities of dealing with Covid-19 – including the work done on test, track and trace.

According to the Department of Health and Social Care, by June 6, home testing kits had been delivered to nearly 9,000 care homes for the over-65s or those with dementia.

Tests are being offered to every staff member and resident in every care home in England, whether or not they have symptoms of Covid-19, the health department said.

The Government recently announced a £600 millon infection control fund to carry out testing and a provide a named clinical lead to support every care home during the pandemic.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “NHS Test and Trace is vitally important to prevent the further spread of Covid-19.

“Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, is co-ordinating the development of local management plans across all local authorities, and we are providing £300 million in funding, alongside comprehensive support to assist councils with their own local outbreak control plans.

“The new Joint Biosecurity Centre will work closely with councils and local health structures to mitigate the risk of local outbreaks.”