I am writing to advise you of the availability of Covid-19 testing for NHS organisations within the Integrated Care System, which includes all primary care contractor groups (medical, pharmacy, dental and optometry) and how this can be accessed. This information is being shared with your Local Representative Committees also.
A protocol has been developed for testing, and this protocol applies to ‘drive in’ staff testing for NHS, public sector and other organisations, (including regulated and VCSFE/Charitable sector) that are part of the Integrated Care System in Lancashire and South Cumbria and that require urgent testing to be undertaken to allow staff (or family members of key workers with symptoms) to be tested for Covid 19 infection, and to support a managed return to work of key workers.
This operational protocol is attached for your information and must be followed by all organisations that wish to use the “drive in” testing facility in Preston. Please note that a Satellite Drive in Testing Centre has also now been established at Westmoreland General Hospital in Kendal. An important change to the Preston Centre is that children under 18 and over 5 can attend for swabbing, and this may improve access for a number of key workers that are self-isolating due to a child’s sickness. This operational protocol places a number of responsibilities on the employing organisation of staff being tested and they must follow this protocol in terms of;
• contacting and communicating with their staff,
• ensuring that they meet the criteria for testing
• submitting the demographic data required to organise a test via the NHSE/I primary care team to the L&SC Coordinating Hub via the key worker capture form on time, daily
• following up the outcome of the test with the staff member or with them on behalf of the family member
• Take action to ensure the safe return to work of staff when appropriate
All tests undertaken via the ‘drive in’ route are analysed in one of the super laboratory hubs created as part of the national Covid 19 response.
The e mail address for referrals to be submitted is detailed within the protocol and is as follows firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any queries in relation to this e mail or the protocol for testing, please submit these to the e mail address above (email@example.com
We are aware that CQC has also established a system to support and enable primary care and other colleagues who have not been able to access testing to date to do so. All tests requested through the CQC route will be directed to the same regional “drive in” testing sites referred to above. In order to avoid duplication, we ask therefore that any organisation referring a member of staff or family member for testing does so only once whether this is through the NHSE/I e mail in box firstname.lastname@example.org OR the CQC process.
Any changes to the protocol including any changes in relation to how tests are booked will be communicated to all contractor groups and LRCs as and when they occur.
Head of Primary Care,
NHS England and NHS Improvement North West – Lancashire and South Cumbria
Floor 2 | Preston Business Centre | Watling Street Road | Preston | PR2 8DY