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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Alert Coronavirus / COVID-19

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Please find information on our services and visiting restrictions in our COVID-19 section.

Patients and visitors must wear a face covering in our hospitals.

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COVID-19 Staff FAQs: Home testing for staff

Information alert box Last updated: 08 July 2021

This is a fast moving situation and we will try to keep this page as up-to-date as possible.
Please continue to check national guidance on the COVID-19 pandemic.

If your question is not answered below, and you are an OUH member of staff, please speak to your line manager or email

If your question is about an OUH HR matter that isn't addressed here, please discuss this initially with your line manager who can then raise it with the HR consultant for your Division.

Some links are to documents on the OUH internal staff intranet: if you are a staff member and cannot access the intranet, please email and we will send you the document you need.

Please remember guidance is likely to change rapidly, so check back to see if you have the most up-to-date version of a document.

Home testing for staff FAQs

Does NHS England still provide lateral flow tests for NHS staff?

NHS England no longer provides lateral flow testing kits for local distribution for staff working in the NHS. Instead, staff will need to order testing kits via the central Government systems.

However, you must still report your test results via the OUH staff testing website. This allows us to continue to support our staff.

What is lateral flow testing?

Lateral flow testing is a system where our site-based staff can use home testing kits twice a week for COVID-19. This is an important way for us to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our hospitals.

How do I order a test?

Before ordering a box of home testing kits, please visit the COVID staff testing website and register for lateral flow testing.

You can access the testing website from a work computer at one of our hospitals, a work computer at home when connected to a VPN, or via Virtual Desktop. Please contact OUH IM&T Service Desk for details.

You will then need to visit the Government website and order a pack of tests. These are usually in the post the next day.

Can I order a home test from the Government website
without pre-registering?

Yes, but you will need to register with the COVID staff testing website for home testing to log your result.

How many tests will I get?

Each box will contain seven tests for you to use at home.

How often should I test myself?

We're asking you to test yourself twice a week, every three to four days, to fit your shift pattern - for example, every Monday and Thursday and Wednesday and Sunday, ideally before you come into work.

How do I take my test?

Instruction leaflets are included in the kit - please familiarise yourself with these. You may be supplied with a kit which you are not familiar with.

How long does my result take?

Your result should be ready 30 minutes after taking your test.

Do I have to report my test result?

Yes, you do - negative, positive, and invalid.

You can do this by going to the COVID staff home testing website and following the instructions to report your result. This can be accessed from any device. Please do not report on the Government testing website.

If you test positive you will need to book a symptomatic test (PCR/swab) to confirm your lateral flow result. This can be done through the COVID staff testing website which needs to be accessed on a Trust device or through a Virtual Workspace.

If you cannot access the COVID staff testing website from home, please fill in a test request form via the link below:

I have symptoms (Word, 100 KB)

You and your household should self-isolate according to Government guidelines while you wait for the result of your PCR/swab confirmatory test. You should also contact your line manager and FirstCare to inform them of this.

NHS England is asking all trusts to supply data on the number of staff tested, and the results.

More details about the information we will need to provide will be available when you sign up for testing.

If your confirmatory PCR/swab result is negative, you can return to work, but only if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

Where do I find the test lot number?

The test lot number (a series of numbers starting with a letter) is on the box and on the outside packaging of each individual testing device.

Can I use these tests on my family and friends?

No - they can order their own kit from the Government website.

Should I continue testing after I've had the vaccine?

Yes, continue to test even though you have had the vaccine.

What happens if my test is negative, but I have coronavirus symptoms?

If you have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, please book a symptomatic test (PCR/swab).

This can be done through the COVID staff home testing website which needs to be accessed on a Trust device or through a Virtual Workspace.

If I have a positive PCR COVID-19 test, when should I start the lateral flow antigen tests again?

If you test positive, recommence home testing 90 days after the positive test was taken.

I'm on annual leave, off work sick with something other than COVID-19, or isolating as I am named as a contact. How frequently should I test myself when not in work?

This programme is designed for use by asymptomatic staff twice a week just before coming into work.

You do not need to test if on annual leave, self-isolating, or otherwise not in work.

Can I see the list of my results uploaded on the covidapp website like I can my PCR results?

Yes you can - via the 'My details' tab on the covidapp website.