Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): social care and community based testing guidance

Published: 15 Feb 2021
Last updated: 14 Sep 2021 - see all updates

Guidance on coronavirus testing for the social care sector.

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

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

  • short break/respite services – LFD (NSS) testing (from w/b 14 June)
  • Independent Living Fund Scotland (ILFS) assessors – LFD (NSS) 
  • children and young people’s community services – LFD (DH) testing 
  • mental health services – LFD (DH) testing (from w/b 3 May)
  • residential accommodation for children – PCR (NSS) testing 
  • homelessness services – PCR (NSS) testing 
  • addiction services – PCR (NSS) testing
  • 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
  • drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation services – LFD (NSS) testing

The overview in the Guidance section details the testing arrangements.

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.

The arrangements for each of the services are as follows:

Test method and delivery

New Orient Gene 7s kits are currently being distributed. All existing Innova 25s stock must be used up first.

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 Covid Testing and Registration Portal online. Please enter the LOT number (on box for Orient Gene 7s).

For lateral flow (DH) testing – test results whether positive or negative should be recorded using the Report a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test result - 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.

For DHSC kits, please ring 119 and inform the call handler you are ringing from Scotland.

For hubs, please ring 0300 303 3020.

Covid testing webinars – LFD only

Webinars for the new Orient Gene 7s test kits have now finished. Please refer to the Training section for the PowerPoint

Onboarding of new providers

New providers who fall under the care at home and community-based care categories listed above, and would receive test kits from NSS, should:

Mental Health services, Children and Young People’s Community services, and services who receive PCR tests from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) should call 119 and advise you are calling from Scotland.

Please note there is a two-to-three week lead time for the set-up of deliveries from the point of collecting all relevant information, which the helpline will do. An email containing guidance and expected kit delivery date will be issued to the new provider as soon as everything is set up (assuming testing criteria is met). NSS will copy in the relevant HSCP contact for oversight.

Sector letters and updates

Training

Guidance

PCR guidance

50 page PDF
2.2 MB

LFD guidance - 12 July 2021

21 page PDF
897.6 kB

Coronavirus (COVID-19): social care and community based testing overview

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: 14 Sep 2021 -