Staff testing & contact tracing
Contact Tracing SOP
Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) information for CSUs to provide those staff members testing positive for COVID-19
Lateral Flow self-testing
Members of LTHT staff are being asked to take part in self-testing at home using lateral flow tests twice weekly. The process is quite simple and involves taking a swab from the nostril and then placing the swab into a small amount of solution which is then dropped using a pipette into a small test similar to a pregnancy test.
The tests are a good indicator if a member of staff could be asymptomatic with Covid-19. If the result is positive then the member of staff will be referred for a PCR test and would need to begin isolating until these results are confirmed. If the PCR test is positive then the member of staff should continue to isolate and begin Test and Trace. If the test is negative then the member of staff should return to work as normal. Staff should take their sample as carefully as possible, in line with the guidance, as good sample-taking enhances the sensitivity of the test.
- Lateral Flow testing - guidance for staff [16/11/20 - NHS England]
- Lateral Flow testing - FAQs [16/11/20 - NHS England]
- Lateral Flow testing - SOP [16/11/20 - NHS England]
- There is also a video available from NHS England here.
Staff COVID-19 testing
Staff testing is currently being offered to anyone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19. A whole household is not tested - only the person who is unwell should be tested.
The process for accessing staff testing is being managed by each Clinical Service Unit to support the members of their team to return to work if their test is negative and they feel well enough.
Individuals should be referred to the booking team by their line manager after reporting their absence to work.
The booking team will then arrange the appropriate method of testing. This is either a drive through test or a test you can do at home.
Access the guidance for managers. (21/08/2020)
Staff testing - results advice (06/05/21)
Staff Testing FAQS
How is the testing done? Individuals will have their nose and throat swabbed. For the majority this will be whilst they remain in their car to minimise contact with the staff at the testing facility. There is small home testing service available for staff without access to a car.
Are children eligible for testing? Yes. The responsible adult accompanying the child will be asked to swab the child.
How long does the appointment for testing take? Approximately 20 minutes.
When are appointments available? The service is planned to be available 7 days a week, including Bank Holidays.
How long does it take for results to be issued? Between 24-48 hours.
How accurate is the test? No test is 100% accurate. Accuracy of results depends on following instructions given to swab the designated areas. Inadequate swabbing may lead to a false negative result, however there is no indication of false positives from the test.
Why are only symptomatic staff / members of the household tested? The test results are only reliable where individuals are experiencing symptoms of fever and/or persistent cough.
Are tests available for agency/bank staff? Yes, these can be requested through the staff bank team or via the health and wellbeing lead.
Last updated: 24/09/2020
- Anti-body test letter including online booking link [24.09.2020]
- Anti-body FAQs [24.09.2020]
I have heard that we can now get an Antibody test. How do I get one?
We are continuing to extend COVID-19 antibody testing across the Trust.
It is also important that staff do not just turn up for testing and only attend booked appointments. This helps us to ensure appropriate social distancing and avoid queuing.
Please contact your CSU teams in the first instance to book an appointment.
The test is an indicator that you may have had COVID-19 infection and developed antibodies. A positive result does not mean you are immune to future infections and a negative result does not mean you have not been infected and so regardless of result all current social distancing and PPE requirements need to be continued.
If the Antibody test confirms that I have had the virus, does that mean I will never get the virus again?
No. At the present time, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that an individual cannot get the virus again.
If the Antibody test confirms that I have had the virus, am I immune?
No. If you receive a positive antibody test it does not mean that you’re immune, or that you cannot pass the virus on to someone else. It also does not mean that you can ignore social distancing guidance. Please continue to follow government guidance regarding this including social distancing guidance.
If I have had the virus can I stop using PPE when caring for patients?
No. Our understanding of the virus will grow as new scientific evidence and studies emerge. COVID-19 is a new disease, and our understanding of the body’s immune response to it is limited. We do not know, for example, how long an antibody response lasts, whether the antibodies produced are effective in neutralising the virus, or whether having antibodies means a person cannot transmit the virus to others. Therefore, you should follow the same guidance in relation to PPE as you may still be able to pass on the virus to patients.
If the Antibody tests confirms that I have had the virus, and I am contacted by the Test and Trace team to say that I have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID19, do I still have to isolate?
Yes. As there is insufficient evidence you cannot get the virus more than once, you should still isolate
What does the antibody test consist of? Is it a nose and throat swab like the Coronavirus test?
The Antibody test requires you to have a blood sample. Therefore you will be expected to attend an appointment with a healthcare worker who will take your blood sample and send it for testing.
Am I required to have an Antibody test?
No. Antibody tests are voluntary.
Will my manager be informed of the results of my Antibody test?
No. This information is confidential and will not be disclosed without consent
Am I required to inform my manager of the results of my Antibody test?
No. This is confidential to you and there is no requirement to inform your manager of your results.
If I am found to have previously had COVID19, will I be moved to hot areas in the Trust?
No. Even if you inform your manager that you have had an Antibody test and tested positive for having had the virus, this will no impact on where you are deployed within the Trust