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Covid self-testing

This page was last updated: April 28th, 2022

Testing for COVID-19 plays an ongoing and important part in how the NHS manages its response to the pandemic

Testing – whether you have COVID-19 symptoms or are part of an asymptomatic testing programme – is key to preventing onward infection in healthcare settings. Being vaccinated may prevent or lessen our symptoms of Covid-19 but it may not stop us carrying or passing on the virus to others.

There are now two main types of test, used in different situations, available to you:

  • PCR – swab tests sent off and analysed in a lab
  • Lateral flow devices – hand-held swab tests analysed by the person doing the swab

Testing for those who have symptoms

If you experience COVID-19 symptoms, you should book a PCR test through our local testing service.

What happens after the test?

If your test is negative, then you can return to work if you are well enough to do so. Speak to your line manager or call the Staff HelpDesk if you need any additional advice on 01872 252205.

If you test positive, you must follow government guidance about isolation.

Testing without symptoms

As part of managing infection spread and breaking chains of transmissions NHS staff can be tested routinely when they don’t have symptoms. All RCHT colleagues, whether working in hospital or in the community, are urged to self-test three times a week.

Asymptomatic testing using lateral flow tests (LFT) helps identify COVID-19 even without symptoms, allowing people to self-isolate and make sure they don’t transmit the virus to others.

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