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Message from NHSE/I Regional Testing Team

Over the festive period, the north west was in receipt of a contingency stock of lateral flow devises (LFDs). This was due to the unprecedented demand for LFDs following updated guidance for daily contact testing and the challenges NHS staff were facing accessing kits. The NHSE/I National Testing Team has now reported significant improvements to the home delivery channel of GOV.uk, including:

  • More than 1,000,000 delivery slots per day
  • 24/7 access for orders - the portal will no longer close once the maximum orders have been reached.

In light of the above improvements, the UKHSA has confirmed with the NHSE/I National Testing Team that no further deliveries of contingency stock will be made, and that all NHS staff must continue to order LFDs via: GOV.uk, community collect sites or pharmacy collect sites.

Work is ongoing to try to prioritise health and social care staff

Due to the extremely high rates of COVID-19 within our communities, in order to try to reduce the incidences in the Trust amongst us, service users/patients, all Trust staff (including bank staff) working in inpatient wards must use lateral flow testing before they start their shifts. Staff are only required to complete lateral flow testing on working days - not on their days off. Staff will be expected to test themselves before shifts start and record all results by following:

All other colleagues (non-inpatient) should continue to use them twice weekly and record all results by following this link.

Lateral flow devices

Please remember to order your supplies and test before you start your shift. There remains high demand on ordering these devices online, however, we’re informed that supplies are continually replenished so you may need to revisit the website.

You can find out how to collect rapid lateral flow tests locally online and you can collect test kits at your local pharmacy. When you go online remember to put the postcode in where you want to pick up tests and you will be directed to a local pick up point. There is also an online service that staff can use, and tests should arrive within two days. 

Remember to record all test results (positive and negative) on the Mersey Care portal by following this link.

If you have issues relating to your supply of LFDs, please email your divisional contact who may be able to help:

Our infection prevention and control team does not have a supply.

We know that this situation will continue to change so please follow guidance in relation to the prevention and spread of the virusKeep yourself and your teams updated with all announcements, news or changes to practice. We want you, our patients, service users and carers to be confident about their safety in Mersey Care.

Click on the YourSpace link for our Standard Operating Procedure for: Guidance and risk assessment for allowing essential front line staff to return to work following a negative PCR if they have been asked to isolate due to potential contact with COVID-19  

Click on the YourSpace link for our Standard Operating Procedure: Guidance and risk assessment for allowing essential front line staff to return to work following a positive PCR or lateral flow test result

You need to call your line manager to report absence for: carer’s leave (time off for dependents), bereavement leave, self or household isolation, or any other sickness absence and when you return to work following absence so it can be recorded as ended.

Daily lateral flow testing

Due to the extremely high rates of COVID-19 within our communities, in order to try to reduce the incidences in the Trust amongst us, service users/patients, all Trust staff (including bank staff) working in inpatient wards must use lateral flow testing before they start their shifts. Staff are only required to complete lateral flow testing on working days - not on their days off. Staff will be expected to test themselves before shifts start and record all results by following:

If you’ve had the vaccine you still need to test as you are still able to contract COVID-19 and pass it on.

 

 

It is now a requirement from Public Health England North West that Trust staff undertaking clinical visits to care homes will need to provide evidence to the home of a negative lateral flow test.  Full guidance can be found on the government website.