Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): asymptomatic staff testing in NHS Scotland

Published: 8 Sep 2020
Last updated: 13 Aug 2021 - see all updates

Guidance on the routine asymptomatic testing of NHS Scotland staff, to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19. 

Published:
8 Sep 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19): asymptomatic staff testing in NHS Scotland

Twice weekly Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing August 2021

Twice-weekly LFD testing is being rolled out to include healthcare workers employed directly by NHS Scotland and NHS24 and Scottish Ambulance Service call handlers. 

The scope of the pathway also includes patient-facing staff in primary care independent contractors - general practice, dentistry, optometry and pharmacy. Please note primary care staff currently are required to be patient-facing in order to access testing.

Relevant documents and guidance (April 2021) available to download from this page:

  • Director letter: letter issued by Scottish Government regarding the publication of interim guidance on expansion of twice weekly LFD testing for eligible patient-facing healthcare workers employed directly by NHS Scotland and NHS24 and Scottish Ambulance Service call handlers, as well as patient- facing independent contractors in primary care- general practice, dentistry, optometry and pharmacy.
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs): This document is designed to provide answers to frequently asked questions on twice weekly LFD testing for eligible patient-facing healthcare workers employed directly by NHS Scotland and NHS24 and Scottish Ambulance Service call handlers, as well as patient- facing independent contractors in primary care- general practice, dentistry, optometry and pharmacy.
  • Standard Operating Procedure (SOP): SOP for twice weekly LFD testing for eligible patient-facing healthcare workers employed directly by NHS Scotland and NHS24 and Scottish Ambulance Service call handlers, as well as patient- facing independent contractors in primary care- general practice, dentistry, optometry and pharmacy.

Training materials

Please ensure you are using the appropriate instructions for use for each LFD testing product, as instructions differ slightly between products.

Training materials for Innova branded test kits: training materials for healthcare workers who are self-testing for COVID-19 using Innova LFD tests. This includes a staff guide, poster, video and PowerPoint presentation.

Training materials for Orient Gene Branded Test KitsPlease note: the manufacturer’s instructions for use included in the Orient Gene LFD test kits directs users to contact the MHRA via the yellow card scheme if they are harmed by a lateral flow device. In Scotland the appropriate pathway is to notify NSS IRIC.

Contrary to the instructions provided in the manufacturer’s instructions for use, healthcare workers should record positive, negative and inconclusive LFD test results via NSS testing portal. Healthcare workers should only enter Orient Gene results as a registered user or through the single test registration form.

Please do not record Orient Gene test results via the bulk upload option.

When recording test results on the online portal, please ensure you enter the lot number provided on the outer cardboard packaging of the test kit, not the ID Number printed on the individual test cassette. Watch an instructional video on how to use Orient Gene Branded LFT kits here.

Weekly PCR Testing: July 2020

Weekly PCR testing has been in place since July for healthcare workers in the following specialties/wards:

  • in oncology and haemo-oncology in wards and day patient areas including radiotherapy

  • in wards caring for people over 65 where the length of stay is over 3 months
  • in wards within mental health services where the anticipated length of stay is over 3 months

Relevant documents and guidance (July 2020) available to download below:

  • testing healthcare workers: letter to NHS Chief Executives from Scottish Government
  • testing healthcare workers: operational definitions
  • guide to testing healthcare workers in designated areas

Twice weekly Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Testing: December 2020

Weekly PCR Testing: July 2020

First published: 8 Sep 2020 Last updated: 13 Aug 2021 -