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Details of swabbing kits for use by health and care staff to test for COVID-19 infection.

Background

Testing remains a critical defence against COVID-19 even when staff are fully vaccinated, as COVID-19 is still transmissible. LFD testing is effective at detecting COVID-19 and identifies asymptomatic staff and protects those receiving care. It also protects the individual, their families and the wider public.

Testing does not change with the roll out of the vaccine or boosters – the vaccine does not interfere with the COVID-19 test and even when staff receive their second and booster doses, they should continue to take part in testing.

From 20th December 2021, the health and care worker testing programme will be introducing two new Orient Gene 20 lateral flow device (LFD) testing kits. There are important changes to how the test should be performed.

Please note

Information relating to Innova and Orient Gene 7 self-test kits will remain in place and as part of all guidance at present due to all four kits being in circulation during the transition phase.

Ensure you are aware of which LFD testing kit you have been supplied with and ensure that you are using the appropriate instructions for use for each LFD testing product, as instructions differ slightly between products.

There are also some key differences for Scotland. These are detailed below.

Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Kits

Important

If you work within healthcare and primary care you will initially be supplied with Orient Gene 20 kits containing 2 bottles of buffer solution.

Staff working within care homes and social care will initially be supplied with Orient Gene 20 kits containing pre-filled vials, whilst some areas of the sector will continue to receive Orient Gene 7 kits.

You must check which kit you have been supplied prior to accessing the following resources. To assist you with this you will need to identify how many kits are supplied in the box you have received. Orient Gene 7 boxes have 7 kits, Orient Gene 20 boxes will have 20 kits included. You must also identify if you have been provided with an Orient Gene 20 box containing 2 buffer solution bottles, or Orient Gene 20 box containing pre-filled vials.

Orient Gene 20 (with buffer solution)

Please Note

If you received the Orient Gene kit that contains pre-filled vials instead you MUST follow the instructions for that specific kit.

Orient Gene 20 (with pre-filled vials)

Please Note

If you received the Orient Gene kit that contains buffer solution bottles instead you MUST follow the instructions for that specific kit.

Orient Gene 7

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. 

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.

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.

Innova (for care home and social care staff)

Please Note

From 16th August 2021, the health and care worker testing programme has been transitioning from Innova manufactured lateral flow device (LFD) testing kits to Orient Gene 7 LFD testing kits.

Guidance on the use of Innova test kits for care home and social care staff is available via the page below:

PCR self-testing (for care home staff)

Instructions on how to safely use a PCR testing kit for care home staff can be found below: