Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): social care testing guidance

Published: 15 Feb 2021
Last updated: 22 Apr 2021 - see all updates

Guidance on coronavirus testing for the social care sector.

Published:
15 Feb 2021
Coronavirus (COVID-19): social care testing guidance

Guidance and materials to support testing of staff working in the following care at home and community-based care services:

  • children and young people’s community services – LFD (DH) testing (from 3 May)
  • mental health services – LFD (DH) testing (from 3 May)
  • residential accommodation for children – PCR (NSS) testing (from 19 April)
  • homelessness services  - PCR (NSS) testing (from 19 April)
  • addiction services – PCR (NSS) testing (from 19 April)
  • social workers –LFD (NSS) testing 
  • learning disability settings – LFD (NSS) testing 
  • women’s shelters – LFD (NSS) testing 
  • personal assistants – LFD (NSS) testing 
  • care inspectors – LFD (NSS) testing 
  • care at home – LFD (NSS) or PCR (DH) testing sheltered housing and housing with multiple occupancies – LFD (NSS) testing
  • adult day centres/ adult day care services – LFD (NSS) testing

Front line social workers who have not previously accessed testing

Please telephone the helpline for kit uplift on 0800 008 6587 

Overview

This overview shows testing arrangements for social care testing. It excludes adult care homes. 

The roll-out of testing commenced on 18 January. Training materials to support rollout are published on this page.

Distribution of kits is currently underway. Please be advised that tests should only be used by those directly involved in social care.

Test method and delivery arrangements for each of the services

Care at home services

LFD (NSS) or PCR (DH) - Because of the diverse nature of care at home services some services will use LFD tests while others will use PCR.  LFD – twice weekly test with follow up PCR test if LFD is positive. PCR – once weekly.

Personal assistants (all), social workers (all front line) and adult day centres/ day care services

LFD (NSS)  tests – twice weekly with follow up PCR test if LFD is positive.

Local PPE hubs. A twelve week supply will be provided in the first instance.

Learning disability settings, women’s shelters, care inspectors, sheltered housing, housing with multiple occupancies 

LFD (NSS) tests – twice weekly with follow up PCR test if LFD is positive. Direct delivery to service. 
A four week supply will be provided in the first instance, with automated resupply by NHS National Services Scotland on a four-weekly cycle, until further notice, when a national portal will become the route to order test kits.

Residential accommodation for children, homelessness services, addiction services

PCR (NSS) tests – once weekly. Direct delivery to service. Courier service. You will receive direct communication from DH regarding this service including training.

Mental health services, children and young people’s community services

LFD (DH) tests – twice weekly. Direct delivery to service.  You will receive a seven week supply in the first instance. You will receive direct communication from DH regarding this service including training.

Guidance and recording of results

Please note: training and education materials must be read thoroughly/completed by staff prior to carrying out the first test.

For lateral flow (NSS) testing - test results whether positive or negative should be recorded using the online covid testing and registration portal.

For lateral flow (DH) testing – test results whether positive or negative should be recorded using report a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test result on GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

For PCR (DH) testing, kits must be sent to the laboratory for testing via a priority post box. You will be notified of the result. 

For PCR (NSS) testing,  a courier will pick up your kits. You will be notified of the result.

Helpline

A free helpline has gone live to provide advice for LFD and PCR 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. 

Covid Testing and IPC  webinars

Links for all upcoming Covid Testing webinars can be found in the FAQs below. 

A series of IPC webinars (27 and 28 April 2021) has been organised specifically for care at home providers and those that provide paid care in clients’ homes on. Please refer to Sector Updates for links to join.
 

Sector letters and updates

Guidance

PCR guidance

49 page PDF
2.5 MB

LFD guidance - 18 March 2021

19 page PDF
845.5 kB

Adult social testing FAQs

13 page PDF
723.6 kB

Training

Essential training 

Lateral flow devices

A number of resources  on using a lateral flow device are available at the NHS Education for Scotland website (login required). This includes slides, a video and posters.

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test

Guidance on using a PCR test is also available on the NHS learning resources website

First published: 15 Feb 2021 Last updated: 22 Apr 2021 -