RESULT TIMES AND UNCLEAR/VOID RESULTS

The following has been sent to HCPA for distribution from NHS Test & Trace:

When we launched the regular re-testing programme with care homes, we told you our aim was to return results to you within 72 hours. We are aware that recently some care homes have experienced coronavirus test results taking longer than 72 hours, and that in the last week, there has been an increase in the number of unclear/void results.

We would like to assure you we are aware of this issue and are taking it very seriously. We are working closely with the labs and immediate action has been taken at the highest levels of the programme to bring
results times back within 72 hours from the time of swabbing, and to reduce the number of unclear/void results, especially where these are affecting whole homes.

We apologise unreservedly to all care homes who have been affected for the upset these issues have caused you, your residents and your staff.

As we work hard to bring results times back within 72 hours, please be aware that some test results may take longer than this to be communicated. This should not delay your planned regular testing. If you
haven’t received your results before your next round of testing begins, please continue testing as planned.

If you receive unclear/void results, please retest immediately. For staff, this should be as part of their weekly testing routine, but for residents, this will require an additional test.

Please remember if any resident is symptomatic they should be tested immediately and follow NHS isolation guidance. Symptomatic staff should isolate in their own home immediately and book an appointment at a test centre or order a home kit to be posted to them. They can do this using the link below. Your local health protection team should always be made aware of any positive cases.

To apply for coronavirus testing at home or a test centre please visit:

https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

Thank you for your ongoing support and patience during this time. We will keep you informed as we progress to resolve this issue.

MULTIPLE REGISTRATION PORTAL – PROBLEMS REGISTERING TESTS

Last week we launched a portal for registering multiple test kits at once, which we hope will save time and frustration for people registering care home test kits.

We have received positive feedback on this system, and a high number of care homes have used the multiple upload option successfully.

However, we have been made aware of an issue that is affecting some care homes. When completing registration for multiple people using the spreadsheet, a small number of care homes are presented with the
following error message:

“Sorry, there is a problem. Your test kits have not been registered.”

If you receive this error message, please re-register the tests one by one using the single registration option, when re-registering the test, if you see an error message which says, “Test kit already
registered” then this means this registration was successful the first time, despite the error message. You will receive an email to confirm the registration has been completed successfully.

If you are concerned about any tests you have previously registered using the system, please check for the confirmation email which gets sent to the email address given when registering. If you have received
an email confirming that you have registered successfully, you do not need to worry. If you have not received this email please register the tests again individually using the link below and selecting the option
to ‘Add each person’s details one by one’:

https://gov.uk/register-organisation-tests/

The issue with the multiple upload portal is only affecting a small number of homes, and our digital team are working hard to fully resolve this. We apologise to all homes who have been affected by this and will
contact you again when the issue has been resolved.

AND FINALLY, TESTING OPEN TO ALL ADULT CARE HOMES

Finally to remind all care homes in England, that as of the 31st August all adult care homes are eligible to apply for regular retesting for their staff and residents.

When you apply please enter the total number of staff and residents in your care home, we will then send you 28 days of test kits to perform weekly staff testing, and resident testing every 28 days.

You are then able to apply for more test kits 21 days after we send you your test kits, which is the date that we email you to confirm their delivery date and the number of test kits that have been dispatched.

To register for test kits for your care home, please use the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-care-home

Please remember that if, at any stage over the next few days, someone at your organisation cannot cope with the symptoms, or their condition gets worse, or their symptoms do not get better after seven days, use the https://111.nhs.uk/COVID-19 service or call NHS 111. In a medical emergency, dial 999.

For any queries regarding results, kit registration issues or other please call the helpline on 119 if you are in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 0300 303 2713 if you are in Scotland.

Thank you,
NHS Test and Trace