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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Coronavirus / COVID-19

If you have a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell, do not come to our hospitals. Follow the national advice and stay at home for seven days.

Important information about our services and restrictions on visiting our hospitals can be found in the COVID-19 section.

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COVID-19 Staff FAQs: Staff testing

Last updated: 4 June 2020

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, please speak to your line manager or email

If your question is about an 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 can't 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.

Staff testing FAQs

I or a member of my family have symptoms of COVID-19, should we be tested?

Testing for COVID-19 - looking after yourself and your team (pdf, 103 KB)

Please download and print off the poster at the link above to ensure that you and your colleagues have all the information you need about staff testing for COVID-19.

It is important that anyone who is not feeling well understands that they are not expected to be at work. This also applies if a member of your household has symptoms of COVID-19.

If you have concerns that you have symptoms of COVID-19 or a household member does, follow your normal process to report an absence. For all OUH directly employed or Retention of Employment (RoE) staff, this means contacting FirstCare to notify them of your absence as you would normally. If you are absent from work for more than 50% of your rostered day, you need to contact FirstCare on 0333 321 8086. For all PFI staff, please report your absence through your normal reporting routes.

The next step for everyone is to then fill in a testing request form via the links below.

Testing is available to all staff including PFI colleagues. Hard copies of these forms are being made available on wards and in the PFI offices around the Trust.

Please email the completed form to: - this email address is not for general Occupational Health advice.

I have been exposed to a patient with COVID-19 without appropriate PPE on. Should I remain at work and should I be tested?

You should remain at work and keep an eye out for the development of any symptoms. You will not be routinely tested. If you develop any symptoms of COVID-19, you should self-isolate at home and contact both FirstCare to register your absence and Occupational Health as above.

Asymptomatic testing for OUH staff currently working on OUH hospital sites
If you do not have symptoms but still want to be tested, you can apply via the voluntary staff testing programme. This programme is for staff who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and are currently working on OUH hospital sites.

It is not for staff who are working at home or shielding. More information is available on the FAQ section of the website.

Please note, this programme is voluntary and there is no obligation to be tested if you are asymptomatic.

Please do not apply for this test if you have symptoms of COVID-19 - please apply for symptomatic testing as outlined above.

Test and Trace

There have been some questions around the Test and Trace system, specifically around what implications this has for healthcare workers.

The Test and Trace system helps trace recent close contacts of anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus.

We've outlined some of the various outcomes below, and the subsequent actions you need to take. We have worked with our local health protection unit to agree our approach.

I've been notified that I'm a contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case in the community (i.e. outside of the workplace). What do I do?

If you have been notified through Test and Trace that you are a contact of a confirmed case in the community, you should inform your line manager and First Care and self-isolate for 14 days.

I've been notified that I'm a contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case who is also a colleague. What do I do?

If your colleague was identified through Occupational Health's symptomatic staff testing programme, the staff testing team will contact you directly. The same guidance applies as when you're named as a community contact. You should follow the steps outlined above - inform your line manager and First Care and self-isolate for 14 days.

If your colleague was identified through the asymptomatic staff wellbeing programme, following risk assessment in the Trust and with the local health protection unit, it is unlikely that a full contact tracing process will be followed. There may be exceptions to this, and we will consider these on a case-by-case basis.

Importantly, this demonstrates the ever-increasing importance of social distancing in the workplace. If you do not follow social distancing, it increases the likelihood of a colleague being named as a contact and more people from your team potentially having to self-isolate. This will have a significant impact on our workforce and can be avoided by proper use of social distancing.