COVID-19 patient testing update - 16 November 2022

NHS England guidance changed to update COVID-19 testing requirements in periods of low prevalence. Within the Trust, routine COVID-19 patient asymptomatic testing was stepped down from 5 September 2022. This includes:

  1. Testing on admission and on days 3 and 5 to 7 ceased.
  2. Testing following AWOL or overnight leave ceased.

Testing will continue in these situations:

  1. On admission one single polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test only, for patients identified with severe immunosuppression or higher risk of infection. This is defined within COVID SOPs and also in this link
  2. For patients discharged to a care/nursing home or other hospital, if required
  3. Symptomatic testing to continue for any patient with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection during admission or throughout their stay
  4. Outbreak and contact testing to continue as advised by infection prevention and control (IPC) team
  5. Patients transferring from LUHFT into Longmoor House will receive a pre-admission PCR test.

Testing guidance relates to periods of low prevalence, therefore is subject to review during periods of increased prevalence. Please see updated patient testing SOP for further detail including which require PCR or LFD test and how to record on the clinical record system.

Asymptomatic staff testing – twice weekly Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing

From 31 August 2022, staff were not required to undertake twice weekly asymptomatic LFD testing. This follows the Government announcement regarding “pause” for asymptomatic NHS, adult and social care staff testing. Staff will still need to undertake twice weekly LFD asymptomatic testing if they are identified as a household contact. Please see SOP for further details.

Staff will also need to continue with asymptomatic LFD testing if working in a COVID outbreak ward as part of outbreak testing. Symptomatic staff will still be required to undertake testing.

There are no changes to reporting or ordering, LFDs remain available via the Government portal