Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): adult care home lateral flow device testing

This page contains guidance and materials to support care homes to implement lateral flow device (LFD) testing. 

11 Jan 2021
Coronavirus (COVID-19): adult care home lateral flow device testing

Care home Lateral Flow Device testing (staff, visitors)

The following groups in care homes should be tested using lateral flow devices:

  • care home staff twice weekly alongside PCR testing (enhanced testing) (from 4 January)
  • visiting professionals to care homes (either through their employer or at the care home where relevant)
  • outbreak management staff testing if advised by health protection (from 4 January)

This overview shows testing arrangements in care homes for care home staff, visitors and visiting professionals 

Visiting professionals

The following groups who visit care homes will be tested twice weekly using LFDs organised through their employer:

Other visiting professionals, such as maintenance staff, private podiatrists who are not offered testing through their employers are encouraged to undertake an LFD test at the care home. Some visit several care homes - it is recommended that they test twice weekly; they do not need to be tested on each visit.

Verbal confirmation of a negative LFD test within the last 72 hours from visiting professionals should be accepted by the care home.

Delivery of test kits

Stock for twice weekly staff and visitor is sent to care homes every four weeks.  If you have any queries about your stock/ supply, please call the dedicated helpline 0800 008 6587  which is open daily 09.00 to 17.00.

If you have urgent requests for further test supply to support with outbreaks ( i.e you have a positive test on your premises, have contacted local Health Protection who have advised you to test all staff for the next 7 days), please use the mailbox, notify them of the situation and request additional kit. When making these necessary urgent requests, please include the following in your email request:

  • Care Home Service Number (CS200XXXXXXX)
  •  Number of staff
  •  The nature of the urgent request (e.g. outbreak, stock depleted due to a specific reason) If you are experiencing an outbreak, please add OUTBREAK in the email subject line and confirm you have been in touch with local Health Protection who have advised you to test all staff for 7 days
  • Current remaining number of Lateral Flow devices for staff twice weekly testing.


A free helpline is available to provide advice on testing. Tel:  0800 008 6587 available 09:00 to 17:00 every day

Please note that these materials will be updated regularly so please continue to check this website for up to date information and guidance. 


Sector letters and updates


Resources - testing

First published: 11 Jan 2021 Last updated: 17 Feb 2021 -