COVID-19 testing update - 2 September 2022

Patient testing 

NHS England guidance has changed to update COVID-19 testing in periods of low prevalence. Within the Trust routine COVID-19 patient asymptomatic testing will be stepped down from Monday, 5 September 2022.

This includes:

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

Testing will continue in these situations:

  1. On admission for patients identified with severe immunosuppression or higher risk of infection. This is defined within COVID standard operating procedures (SOPs) and also in this link
  2. For patients discharged to a care/nursing home
  3. Symptomatic testing to continue for any patient consistent with COVID-19 infection during admission or throughout admission
  4. Outbreak testing to continue as advised by infection prevention and control team
  5. Patients transferring from LUHFT into Longmoor House will receive a pre-admission PCR test.

All related COVID SOPs are currently under review to reflect associated changes and will be available on the Trust COVID SOP page

Testing guidance relates to periods of low prevalence, and therefore is subject to review during periods of increased prevalence.

Update on asymptomatic staff testing – twice weekly Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing

From 31 August 2022, staff are not required to undertake twice weekly asymptomatic LFD testing. This comes following the announcement from Government 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.