Publish date: 8 February 2021
***Managers – please make sure this communication is shared with any staff who may not regularly access their emails (including bank and agency staff who may not receive it directly). Please also discuss your local process for informing management of a positive result, particularly at weekends***
Lateral flow home testing – second round
This week we are starting to distribute the second round of lateral flow home testing kits to patient-facing staff.
Below is a reminder about the process for receiving your kits and what you need to do.
We know some people with Covid-19 can be completely asymptomatic or not develop symptoms until days after they catch it. Testing all patient-facing staff gives us the opportunity to make sure staff are not inadvertently putting colleagues or patients at risk.
Testing is voluntary, but we strongly advise all patient-facing staff take part to help keep patients and colleagues safe. It is a legal requirement for anyone taking the tests to report their results twice a week (including negative results).
Which staff are included
Staff who ARE included:
Staff who ARE NOT included:
Getting your box of tests
From Tuesday 9 February, designated test allocators (identified by leadership teams) will be collecting boxes of tests, together with printed instruction booklets, from their local PPE hubs to distribute to patient-facing staff.
When you are allocated your tests, you will be asked for some contact details. You can chose whether these are your personal email address and phone number or your work ones.
It is vitally important you make sure your allocator inputs your details correctly. If the details are incorrect, you will be unable to access the online system to report your results.
You will receive a box of 25 tests, which will last you three months, carrying out tests twice a week.
By accepting the testing kits, you are consenting to only using the test on yourself, and that you will report twice weekly on your results. Reporting is a legal requirement, including negative results.
When you receive your box of tests, please take it home with the instruction booklet. Tests can be stored at room temperature, away from direct sunlight, and do not need to be kept in the fridge or freezer.
Taking the test
You will be carrying out your own test quickly and easily at home using what is called a ‘lateral flow’ test.
The test involves taking a swab from the inside of your nostril, mixing with a solution in a test tube and pouring into an applicator which will produce lines to show whether the sample is positive, negative or invalid (similar to a pregnancy test). Everything you will need is included in the kit and results are provided within half an hour.
A short video has been produced by NHS Health Education England to show you how to carry out the test.
Please ignore the manufacturer instructions in the box. Instead, full printed instructions, including helpful diagrams, will be provided when you receive your test kits and are also available online.
When to take your test
You should test yourself twice a week, every three to four days, to fit your shift pattern – for example, every Monday and Thursday or Wednesday and Sunday.
Ideally, you should carry out your test at home, before your shift.
It is a legal requirement to report each test result by completing a simple online form which you can access on your own smartphone using the QR code below or using this link: nwbstafftesting.xmerseyhc.nhs.uk
If possible, please don’t open the link using Internet Explorer as it may not display correctly. Google Chrome or Safari are good alternatives.
If your test result is positive you MUST follow these steps:
This information is also available on StaffZone, together with a link to a video showing you how to take the test, and frequently asked questions. You can access this information at any time, on your own smartphone and when you are not on the Trust network: staffzone.nwbh.nhs.uk/asymptomatic-staff-testing
After you have read the information available online, if you need more help using the test kit or reporting your results online email: firstname.lastname@example.org