Ongoing access for pharmacy staff to C-19 testing confirmed
The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed that NHS staff, including patient-facing community pharmacy team members, will continue to be able to access COVID-19 Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests to allow ongoing twice-weekly asymptomatic testing.
This was included in an announcement made yesterday evening, with further information being provided to pharmacy contractors in a letter issued by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) this morning.
The NHSE&I letter says from 1st April 2022, patient-facing staff should continue to test twice weekly when asymptomatic. LFD tests will continue to be available through the gov.uk portal for NHS staff working in a patient-facing role. NHSE&I is also working with the UK Health Security Agency to determine how routine asymptomatic testing should be stepped down in line with any decrease in prevalence rates.
Symptomatic staff should test themselves using LFDs. LFD tests will continue to be available through the gov.uk portal for NHS staff in England with symptoms.
Staff who test positive should continue to follow the current return to work guidance. LFDs to support this guidance will continue to be available through the gov.uk portal for NHS staff in England.
Staff who are household contacts of a positive COVID-19 case will now be able to continue to work as normal if they remain asymptomatic and continue to test twice weekly. They will no longer be required to have a PCR test in order to return to work.