How to get yourself tested for Covid-19 free in UK | United Kingdom

How to Get Tested for Coronavirus in UK?

Convid-19 Tests in UK: Coronavirus pandemic has been infecting people across the globe and the situation is getting worst with every passing day. As per the latest statistical reports, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the world has reached up to 1,095,140, while 58,791 have expired till the date. On the other hand, the tendency of recovery of patients gives us a hope that this pandemic will soon be leaving the planet i.e. 228,109 patients have got recovered.

As far as the situation in the UK is concerned, a total of 38,168 cases have been confirmed for coronavirus while 3,605 got expired. All the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers along with the government is trying to cope up with the situation effectively in order to put a barrier to the growth of coronavirus cases. All sorts of health facilities are being provided to the patients so that the possibilities of recovery can be increased. Moreover, the hospitals in the UK have devised a proper system for testing the suspected patients of coronavirus. Here is the guide to the process of availing testing facilities for coronavirus in the UK:

Process of Testing & Criteria

As per the system devised by the Government of the UK, suspected patients will be going through the following process for testing:

  • The suspected patient will be taken under prevention measures before taking the test sample and while waiting for the results.
  • The suspected patient will be kept in a single occupancy room.
  • The suspected patient will be asked to wear a mask so that in case of diagnosis, the infection couldn’t be transmitted.
  • To analyze whether the patient meets the criteria of being a suspected coronavirus patient, the doctor will examine for clinical symptoms and then will decide accordingly about admitting the patient at least for one night.
  • The doctor will be counting the patient as a suspected case for coronavirus if he observes clinical or radiological evidence of pneumonia.
  • The patient may be considered suspected positive case of coronavirus if he/she has an influenza-like illness, fever, any symptoms related to a respiratory system like persistent cough either with or without sputum, hoarseness, nasal discharge or congestion, shortness of breath, sore throat, wheezing and sneezing.
  • If the patient has a new cough and fever only, they should stay at home and are not prioritized for testing.
  • There are chances of atypical presentations in patients who are immunocompromised. So, in that case, doctors should have to be alert while checking the patient.
  • It is not necessary to telephone the laboratory or health protection team (HPT) to request testing. Samples should be sent for testing to the listed PHE regional laboratory designated for the referring laboratory region.

Designated Testing Laboratories in UK

The citizens of United Kingdom should access their laboratory results via their local healthcare providers. Here is the list of designated testing laboratories for coronavirus in UK:

NHS Region Designated laboratory Address for sample dispatch Contact telephone numbers
Normal hours Out of hours
East of England Cambridge PHL Public Health England, Public Health Laboratory, Box 236, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge Biomedical Campus Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ 01223 257037 01223 245151 (Ask for on call Virologist)
London Respiratory virus unit, Colindale Respiratory virus unit (RVU), Public Health England, 61 Colindale Avenue, London, NW9 5EQ 0208 327 7887 020 8200 4400 (Ask for Duty Doctor)
Midlands Birmingham PHL Public Health Laboratory Birmingham, Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Bordesley Green East, Birmingham, B9 5SS 0121 424 3111 0121 4242000 (ask for duty virologist)
North East Newcastle lab Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, Microbiology and Virology Department, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE7 7DN 0191 233 6161 (Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, switchboard) Ask for Consultant Virologist 0191 233 6161 (Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, switchboard) Ask for on-call Consultant Virologist
North West Manchester PHL Virology Reception, Third Floor, Clinical Science Building 1, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9WL 0161 276 8853 0161 276 1234 (Ask for on-call Microbiologist)
South East Southampton lab Microbiology, Level B, South Laboratory Block, Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road, Southampton SO16 6YD 023 8120 6408 023 8077 7222 (ask for out of hours Microbiology biomedical scientist)
South West Bristol PHL PHE Microbiology, Public Health England, Pathology Sciences Building, Westbury, Bristol, BS10 5NB 0117 414 6222 0117 950 5050 (Ask for on-call Virologist or Microbiologist)
Yorkshire and Humber Leeds lab Virology Department, Old Medical School, Leeds General Infirmary, Thoresby Place, Leeds LS1 3EX 0113 392 8750 (option 2) (Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, switchboard) Ask for on-call Consultant Virologist 0113 243 2799 or 0113 243 3144(Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, switchboard) Ask for on-call Consultant Virologist

What is the Test for Coronavirus?

People usually think that like other viral diseases, the test for coronavirus is also based on blood samples however it is not like that. The main test for coronavirus is basically taking a swab of the suspected patient’s nose or throat.

On the other hand, there is an antibody test which is used to see whether someone has already had the virus. They look for signs of immunity in the blood by using a drop of blood on a device.

Actions to Take If Patient Tests Positive

In case if the patients have been confirmed as a positive case for coronavirus, the following immediate measures should be taken:

  • The patient should be immediately shifted to isolation with full fledge respiratory facilities. Doctors should wear PPE kit along with masks and gloves while examining the patient and entering the isolation zone.
  • The potentially contaminated areas in the patient’s isolation zone should be cleaned and sanitized properly to decrease the chances of spread of the virus.

 

When to Discharge the Patients?

After keeping the coronavirus positive patient admitted in isolation respiratory unit, following are the indications to follow about when to discharge the patient:

  • If a patient is clinically well and suitable to be discharged from the hospital, get him/her clinically assessed appropriately.
  • The patient should be advised accurately about risk assessment of their home environment and about staying at home.
  • Make proper arrangements for the patients to get them safely back home.