LAMP (Saliva) Testing

This page was last updated: January 17th, 2022

From 20 September 2021 we are offering all colleagues LAMP (saliva) testing as an alternative to lateral flow testing. This will be most helpful to those colleagues regularly working in, or able to drop off samples, at our main hospital sites.

This test involves giving a sample of saliva twice a week, which is tested in a lab and you are sent the result. If you are part of a research study, please check with the research team whether you should continue to undertake regular lateral flow tests.

Collection kits with full instructions will be provided.

You will need to scan and register your sample on the C19 reporting system before dropping it at one of our collection points. Once processed in the lab, a text message (and/or email) will notify you of your result.

If you test positive for COVID-19 the Occupational Health Department will automatically be notified so that we can make sure contact tracing is carried out.

Where to collect LAMP Tests

For RCHT sites you will find them in the main entrances, where there are also drop off points, and wards and many departments should also have their own stocks of test kits.

Community hospital sites have made their own arrangements as they don’t have the benefit of 24/7 security presence at entrances to keep an eye on the kits and collection boxes. You would need to contact the relevant site manager

What you need to do

Collect a test kit from your ward or department, or one of our main reception desks.

Each kit includes:

  • Instructions on how to take and activate the test
  • A saliva funnel and collection tube
  • Returns packaging and security seal

Please follow the enclosed instructions carefully to ensure your specimen can be processed.


IMPORTANT – You must leave ONE HOUR between eating or drinking (except water) before collecting your saliva sample.

When do I do my test?

You’ll need to take a test Three times a week.

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

Samples must be received by the lab within 24 hours or they will become invalid.

All staff who are not routinely part of a ward team must now show proof of a negative LAMP or lateral flow test, taken within the last 48 hours before entering a ward area. This includes visitors and maintenance staff.

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

How much saliva do I need to provide?

You need to make sure that you provide enough saliva to be tested, this is roughly 2ml or half a teaspoon of saliva in the tube.

The laboratory cannot test samples that contain phlegm, food or toothpaste so please make sure your sample is clear to avoid it being rejected and you having to retest.

Please wait at least one hour after eating, drinking or smoking before providing your sample.

An optional funnel will be provided in the pack, which can be used to help get the saliva into the tube.

My mouth is quite dry. How can I make sure I have enough saliva to do the test properly?

To provide a good sample, you should relax and take your time. To encourage saliva production, you can rub the inside of your cheeks with your tongue and/or gently massage your cheeks.

To help produce enough saliva, imagine you are eating or move your mouth as though you are chewing. This will help the build-up of saliva. Tilt your head forward to allow the saliva to collect in the front of your mouth. Spit into the tube without coughing saliva from your throat.

Please wait at least one hour after eating, drinking or smoking before providing your sample.

Scanning and sending your sample

The easiest way to scan and send your LAMP sample is to download the C19 reporting system onto your mobile phone. This is the same reporting system you may already be using to record lateral flow tests. Please contact rcht.c19testingsupport@nhs.net if you do not yet have access. The C19 reporting system will remember your details each time you need to send a new sample.

  • User registration: Click the link in the email you receive, complete and submit the form with all details you can. Note that only starred fields are mandatory.
  • Validating your phone number: You will receive a text message and will need to click on the link in the message and sign in using the email address for the user, and the password that you setup during registration.
  • Enabling Two Factor Authentication: Change ‘Text message’ to ‘Enabled’ and ‘Preferred’ and then click ‘Send authentication code to your phone’. You will receive a code via text message which you will need to enter here. When you have entered it, click ‘Verify’.
  • Email verification: You can at this stage also verify your email address by enabling it and following the same procedure.

Adding a link to the app to your Apple iPhone Home Screen

  • When logged into the app click the box with an arrow in the centre bottom of the screen.
  • You will now find the app on the home screen of your phone.
  • Click on ‘add to Home screen’.
  • Change’ home’ to a name of your choice.
  • When you have done this click ‘add’.

Adding a link to the app to your Android Phone Home Screen

  • When you log into the app click on the three dots in the top right-hand corner.
  • Click on ‘Add to Home screen’.
  • Press the ‘add’ button.

Logging in on your phone

  • Each time you try to log in to the app you will receive a text message to confirm your identity.
  • Using your email address as the username and the password that you have already set, log in.
  • You will arrive at the ‘Security code’ screen – enter the code that is sent to you via text and press ‘Submit’

The sample must reach the laboratory within 24 hours. Consider whether it would be best to drop off your sample at the beginning or end of your shift.

Samples will be collected from the drop-off points at different times during the day. Collection times will be clearly marked at collection point, so if you are coming for a night shift, it may be better to take and drop off your sample on the way home the following morning.

As soon as you scan your sample the clock will start. If the sample is not received in time, you will receive a text asking you to carry out another test.

Where do I drop off my sample?

There are collection points in main entrances at Royal Cornwall, St Michael’s and West Cornwall hospitals and in locations at most community hospitals.

Important information about your result

A positive test result may be returned to you while you are at work. If this happens you will need to let your line manager know straight away and safely leave your place of work. You will need to self-isolate in line with current national guidance, but you don’t need to book a confirmatory PCR test.

Following a positive result you must also inform rcht.contact-tracing-c19@nhs.net so that risk assessments can be done for colleagues.

Self-testing after returning to work following contact tracing ‘ping’

If you have been cleared to return to work after a non-household contact with Covid-19, you will need to revert to daily lateral flow testing, so your covid status is known BEFORE you start your shift.

How do I continue testing when I am on leave?

We recommend you continue testing with lateral flow when you are not able to get to a hospital drop off point during annual leave or any extended time away from work. You can obtain LFT kits from a many pharmacies or order them online for delivery to your home.

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