Covid self-testing

When do I do my test?

You’ll need to take a test twice weekly. For part-time or full-time staff who work regular shift across the week, we’re asking that tests be carried out on the following days:

  • Last name begins with the letters A to I – carry out tests Monday and Thursday
  • Last name begins with the letters J to Q – carry out tests Tuesday and Friday
  • Last name begins with the letters R to Z – carry out tests Wednesday and Saturday

Colleagues with irregular working patterns should do a test twice weekly, ideally 24 hours before their next shift or group of shifts.

Regular covid testing for patient-facing staff – self-test kits

As part of the national programme we will be introducing self-testing kits for patient-facing staff. This is a key addition to helping us protect colleagues and patients from unwitting transmission of the coronavirus.

Patient-facing colleagues will be offered self-test kits (known as lateral flow testing) to take home and use at home, twice per week. They involve a nose swab which is transferred onto a test strip and then takes up to 30 minutes to give a result.If you test positive using one of these kits, you will need to self-isolate and complete the online request form* or call the Occupational Health Staff HelpDesk on 01872 252205 to book a PCR (standard throat and nose swab) test to confirm the result.

You will also need to let your line manager or, if out of hours, the person responsible for your team, know as soon as possible, so that cover can be arranged whilst you are waiting for your confirmatory result.

About the test

  • Taking part is voluntary but we would encourage all patient-facing staff to take a pack of 25 tests home and start regular testing. Care Groups, Specialties, Team Managers will be given local guidance and discretion as to who is counted as patient-facing.
  • You will be asked to undertake two tests per week, ideally on days just prior to your work days. Evidence suggests that twice-weekly testing makes lateral-flow testing effective at managing your covid status.
  • The test works rather like a pregnancy test, in the way results are given in a window. One line means negative, two lines means positive. An ‘invalid’ test result means you will need to repeat the test again.
  • An initial positive result using these tests means you should immediately start to follow advice on isolation for you and your household from that point until you have received a result from the PCR test.

How do I use the kit?

We recommend you take the first test at work, with a colleague.
Here is a link to a video showing how the swabs should be used, created and kindly shared by colleagues at Royal Surrey NHS FT. This is best viewed in Chrome or Safari. There is also a link to a written leaflet here.
Here is a link to a number of Frequently Asked Questions should you want to know more.

When will I get mine?

Test kits are being distributed to highest risk areas first, generally emergency admission areas and those caring for the most vulnerable patient groups. They will then be rolled out to all patient facing areas as more stocks arrive from the national distribution centre.

When do I do my test?

You’ll need to take a test twice weekly. For part-time or full-time staff who work regular shift across the week, we’re asking that tests be carried out on the following days:

  • Last name begins with the letters A to I – carry out tests Monday and Thursday
  • Last name begins with the letters J to Q – carry out tests Tuesday and Friday
  • Last name begins with the letters R to Z – carry out tests Wednesday and Saturday

Colleagues with irregular working patterns should do a test twice weekly, ideally 24 hours before their next shift or group of shifts.

Line managers will follow-up up missing or unreported results with team members.

If I need help, who do I go to?

Colleagues on our Staff HelpDesk are here if you need help, please call on 01872 25 2205 or email rcht.coronavirus@nhs.net

We are required to report negative and positive results of all testing. Therefore, everyone taking part will need to complete the online test record form* each time they do a test. All positive results will be recorded through the Staff HelpDesk as the member of staff will need to be booked for a confirmatory PCR test. The HelpDesk will require the batch number of the positive test when a member of staff calls in to say they have tested positive.

Your support for the self-testing programme will make a big contribution in our fight against coronavirus and will reduce the risk to you, your colleagues, your patients and families.

* Link will not open in Internet Explorer, please use Chrome or another browser.

Further information

Further information on asymptomatic testing and additional frequently asked questions can be found on the NHS Employers website:
https://www.nhsemployers.org/covid19/health-safety-and-wellbeing/asymptomatic-testing

If you have any questions about the people elements of the NHS Employers FAQs, please email nhsi.stafftesting@nhs.net