Information and key steps for COVID-19 diagnostic swab tests including self-testing.


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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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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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


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


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


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.