Publish date: 1 December 2020
Following the successful launch of regular Covid-19 home testing for our staff in Knowsley, we are now rolling asymptomatic testing out to the rest of our patient-facing staff, in line with national requirements.
Please read the important information below so you know what to expect when you receive your test kits from Tuesday onwards.
Regular testing is voluntary, but we strongly advise all patient-facing staff take part to help keep patients and colleagues safe.
Why regular testing is being introduced for staff who don’t have symptoms
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.
Which staff will and won’t be included
Staff who WILL be included:
Staff who WON’T be included:
Getting your box of tests
From Tuesday, 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.
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.
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.
You must report each test result yourself 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.
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 can’t perform the test, contact your line manager in the first instance, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org