Coronavirus (COVID-19) asymptomatic health and social care staff testing in Scotland

Background

From 16th August 2021, the health and care worker testing programme will be transitioning from Innova manufactured lateral flow device (LFD) testing kits to Orient Gene LFD testing kits.

Orient Gene is branded differently to previous tests and there are important changes to how the test should be performed.

Please note information relating to Innova self-test kits will remain in place and as part of all guidance at present due to both kits being in circulation during the transition phase.

Training materials

Please ensure you are using the appropriate instructions for use for each LFD testing product, as instructions differ slightly between products.

Please note there are also some key differences for Scotland. These are detailed below.

Innova

Training materials for health and social care workers who are self-testing for COVID-19 using Innova LFD tests are available here: https://learn.nes.nhs.scot/41573

This includes staff guides, poster, video and PowerPoint presentation.

Orient Gene

Training materials for health and social care workers who are self-testing for COVID-19 using Orient Gene LFD tests include:

! Please Note: This instructional video provides guidance relating to the technique for taking a lateral flow self-test. Healthcare workers should refer to the Scottish Government website for latest guidance regarding self-isolation and contact screening exemptions.

​​​​​​​Key differences for Scotland (Orient Gene)

Please note: the manufacturer’s instructions for use included in the Orient Gene LFD test kits directs users to contact the MHRA via the yellow card scheme if they are harmed by a lateral flow device. In Scotland the appropriate pathway is to notify NSS IRIC.

Contrary to the instructions provided in the manufacturer’s instructions for use, healthcare workers should record positive, negative and inconclusive LFD test results via NSS testing portal. Healthcare workers should only enter Orient Gene results as a registered user or through the single test registration form.

Please do not record Orient Gene test results via the bulk upload option.

When recording test results on the online portal, please ensure you enter the lot number provided on the outer cardboard packaging of the test kit, not the ID Number printed on the individual test cassette. 

Please note: This is a rapidly evolving response and practitioners are asked to frequently refer to the Scottish Government website to ensure that they have access to the most current resources/guidance.

Introduction

The following resources are designed to provide you with the information and key steps to follow to obtain a swab test from people requiring a COVID-19 diagnostic swab test, including yourself if you are self-testing. They focus on the correct techniques on how to safely and correctly perform a swab test to ensure you receive the correct result.

The correct swabbing technique reduces the likelihood of a false negative result and associated implications of such a result. 

You should complete the resources that are relevant to you and the area in which you deliver care.

Note: You will need to login with your Turas account to view some of the resources below.

This account is the same as your Turas Appraisal account. If you do not have an account then please register for a free Turas account.

Care Home Staff

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Patient-facing staff in hospitals, Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) and COVID-19 Assessment Centres

For NHS Scotland staff. 

Healthcare staff

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Visiting Professionals to Care Homes

For Adult Social Workers and Care Inspectorate Inspectors.

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Social Care Testing (EXCLUDING ADULT CARE HOMES)

Please note that any references to ‘care at home’ in documents on this page are also suitable for social care testing (excluding care homes).

Please note the telephone number 119 now replaces any references to 0300 303 2713

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LFD (NSS)

For personal assistants, social workers, learning disability settings, women’s shelters and care inspectors. Also for selected care at home, adult day centres/ adult day care services, personal assistants, sheltered housing and housing with multiple occupancies staff using LFD (NSS) tests

LFD (DHSC)

For mental health services and children and young people’s community services staff using LFD (DHSC) tests

PCR (NSS)

For addiction services, homelessness services and residential accommodation for children staff using PCR (NSS) tests.

PCR (DHSC)

For selected care at home staff using PCR (DHSC) tests.

Latex Warning

Please be advised that some qRT-PCR tests are not suitable for those with a latex allergy. A latex warning is present on affected qRT-PCR test packaging. This can include both symptomatic, asymptomatic and confirmatory qRT-PCR tests. There is not a latex issue if the person is being tested with a lateral flow device (LFD) test.

Some PCR testing swabs - while not containing latex– may have been manufactured in areas that have previously handled latex. This applies to those kits that have been distributed via the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) across care at home/housing support services.

The PCR kits affected will have a warning clearly stating this and we advise, although the risk is minimal, that staff who have a latex allergy do not use these kits. Where this arises we suggest that staff contact their employer in the first instance. Alternative LFD kits can be provided by employers.