Testing Asymptomatic NHS Staff

As we move into a second Lockdown in England (with various other restrictions and lockdowns in place across the four dissolved nations) the NHS and government have begun to implement larger testing capacities for asymptomatic NHS staff.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have outlined the arrangements currently being put in place to support local areas and their expansions for testing hospital staff (including locum and agency staff) for COVID-19.

Below outlines the expanded testing programme and what it will consist of:

Tier 3 geographical areas: designated by the government as very high risk 

Regular weekly testing will be held for all NHS staff who are in direct contact with patients, lasting for the entire period whilst this level of designation remains in place.

All other geographical areas: designated by the government as high to medium risk

For Trusts in Tier 2 and 1 areas, targeted testing will take place where high nosocomial rates are discovered or are recommended by local and regional infection prevention and control teams.

Across England, Acute Trusts will receive the initial majority of testing capacity, but this will soon be introduced and expanded into other settings, including; mental health trusts, community health trusts and primary care. Whilst the bulk of this testing will be provided locally by the NHS (‘pillar 1’), where applicable, some testing will be provided by the government laboratories (‘pillar 2’).

NHS England and NHS Improvement also released further details about new testing technology and how there is now the ability to produce tests based on saliva. this method of testing is rapidly being introduced and will seemingly become the main method used for staff testing programmes.

To ensure Athona is able to continue providing support to our candidates throughout the entirety of the pandemic, we have created a dedicated mailbox where you are able to submit a positive or negative test result. Please note, this service should only be used if the Trust you’re working for is participating in one of the asymptomatic testing roll outs.

Please send all weekly test results to testresults@athona.com, stating your test result in the subject line, which will enable us to offer you our support as soon as possible and inform your workplace.

For more information about testing asymptomatic NHS staff, please read the key points which Athona has collated from the NHSE/NHSI FAQ document, which includes important information about:

  • How testing will be rolled out
  • What to do if you test positive
  • The 90-day test exemption following a positive result.

(Sourced via: www.nhsemployers.org/covid19/health-safety-and-wellbeing/asymptomatic-testing).