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Alert COVID-19

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Staff testing

Information alert box Last updated: 29 September 2022

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 a member of staff, please speak to your line manager or email covidquestions@ouh.nhs.uk

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 covidquestions@ouh.nhs.uk 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.

Lateral flow testing

Staff who do not have symptoms of COVID-19

Patient-facing healthcare staff who have no symptoms of COVID-19 are no longer required to test on a regular basis. However, we have outlined some situations below that can be considered on a case-by-case basis.

If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and work for the NHS or with NHS patients for an independent healthcare provider, you can get a free NHS test if you:

  • have been off work with COVID-19 and need a test to return to work
  • work with people who are at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 and your employer has told you to get a test
  • are at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 and your employer has told you to get a test.

Staff with symptoms of respiratory infection (including COVID-19)

Anyone who has symptoms of a respiratory infection and has a high temperature or does not feel well enough to go to work should stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

You should follow the guidance for people with symptoms of a respiratory infection including COVID-19:

People with symptoms of a respiratory infection including COVID-19 - gov.uk

Patient-facing healthcare staff who have symptoms of a respiratory infection, and who have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to attend work, should take a lateral flow test as soon as they feel unwell.

If the result of this test is positive, you should follow the advice in the section for staff members who receive a positive lateral flow test result for COVID-19. A confirmatory PCR is not required.

If the test result is negative, you can attend work if you are clinically well enough to do so and you do not have a high temperature.

If you work with patients whose immune system means that they are at higher risk of serious illness despite vaccination, you should discuss this with your line manager who should undertake a risk assessment:

COVID-19: guidance for people whose immune system means they are at higher risk - gov.uk

If you require a PCR test, please book a test via the COVID-19 staff testing website. This is for staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 and a negative lateral flow test.

If you still have symptoms when you return to work, you should also speak to your line manager who should undertake a risk assessment.

Lateral flow tests are available through the Government website for patient-facing NHS staff in England with symptoms:

Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests - gov.uk

Lateral flow test results should now be uploaded onto the gov.uk website:

Report a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test result - gov.uk

Staff who test positive for COVID-19

Please see 'Self isolation' for guidance.

Last reviewed:29 September 2022