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We have started moving content to our new website at: www.nhsggc.scot

COVID-19 (Coronavirus info)

Information and guidance for public, NHSGGC staff, and community-based services.  Hospital visiting restrictions now in place.

Testing

Testing of symptomatic residents for a single suspected COVID-19 case should be arranged by contacting the GP in the first instance as outlined in this Covid-19 Care Home Testing Process infographic (pdf) 

Symptomatic residents should be placed and cared for as outlined in the care home guidance document available via Health Protection Scotland.

People employed within care homes are eligible for staff testing and fall within the Scottish Government’s Priority G...

People employed within care homes are eligible for staff testing and fall within the Scottish Government’s Priority Group 1A for Staff delivering NHS services, providing social care to protect and care for the most vulnerable.

Tests can be requested through the NHSGGC Staff COVID-19 Testing process (pdf) for care home staff who meet the following criteria:

  • Symptomatic Care Home staff (staff displaying symptoms) or their symptomatic household contacts should refer to testing through the existing process

Our Testing for staff and their household contacts page provides more details.

You should get tested in the first 3 days of coronavirus symptoms appearing, although testing is considered effective up until day 5.

No testing should be undertaken after day 5, unless it’s for a specific reason which will be agreed on a case by case basis by local microbiologists.

Staff with no symptoms 

Arrangements are now in place for care home staff with no symptoms to be offered testing on a weekly basis through the whole home testing process described below. Please remember, that this service is only for staff who do not have symptoms.  

 

Email sent 5th February 2021 Dear Care Home Manager I am getting in touch with some important information about PCR...

Email sent 5th February 2021

Dear Care Home Manager

I am getting in touch with some important information about PCR test samples and the use of lateral flow tests in care homes.

PCR test samples

Two important issues regarding PCR test samples have been identified that I would like to inform you of or remind you about:

  • Please could staff ensure that they write the date their sample was taken on the side of the swab container. This may be different from the date on the pre-printed forms from the care home testing hubs (the labs are aware these might differ, and will choose the date on the sample container). It is very important that this date is accurate so that any self-isolation dates are also accurate.
  • Care home testing hubs helpfully include tongue depressors within testing kits. Whether it is used or not, please ensure it is removed from the sample bag before you submit the sample.  If the tongue depressor is still in the bag when the swab reaches the lab, the swab will automatically be rejected.

Use of lateral flow testing for people with symptoms

We have also become aware of a number of instances in which Lateral Flow Device Tests (LFDs or LFTs) have been used to test social care residents / service users or staff who have symptoms.

Whilst lateral flow testing may have a role in such situations if there is going to be a delay in carrying out PCR testing, it cannot substitute for informing the residents’ GP or for performing a PCR test as soon as soon as one is available. In particular, it is essential to bear in mind that lateral flow testing is not as reliable as PCR tests, and that a negative lateral flow test does not reliably rule out the presence of COVID-19.

For these reasons:

  • If the person with symptoms is a service user or resident, your first actions should be to isolate the resident, and to notify their GP so that they can make a clinical assessment and arrange a PCR test.
  • If the person with symptoms is a staff member, then that person must immediately self-isolate and seek a PCR test.

Under no circumstances should you delay doing these things until after doing a lateral flow test, or decide that they are no longer necessary on the basis of a negative lateral flow test result. If you decide to carry out a lateral flow test whilst you are awaiting the PCR test, you must continue to isolate the individual until the result of the PCR test is known, even if the result of the lateral flow test is negative.

Kind regards

Linda de Caestecker

The additional testing of asymptomatic residents and staff applies only to Care Homes with at least one case of COVID...

The additional testing of asymptomatic residents and staff applies only to Care Homes with at least one case of COVID-19 or Care Homes in the same group where there is at least one case of COVID-19. This involves staff in nursing homes undertaking testing and testing teams undertaking the tests in residential homes and also supporting nursing homes. Testing should be done with the consent of the resident or their guardian. 

Rather than contacting the GPs for all your residents, you will now be able to organise testing for all your asymptomatic residents and staff directly by contacting the local HSCP Testing Hub as outlined in diagram:

Covid-19 Care Home New Outbreak Testing Process (pdf)

Further information on the local process

Interim guidance has been developed by Health Protection Scotland and includes details about:

  • Arrangements for PCR Testing for Health Protection Teams
  • What to do if residents or staff get a positive test result
  • Staffing arrangements for care home managers and considerations for new care home staff

You should notify the resident’s GP so that they can make a clinical assessment of the resident. If the GP determines...

You should notify the resident’s GP so that they can make a clinical assessment of the resident. If the GP determines that a COVID-19 test is appropriate, then he or she will arrange this via the HSCP testing hub. Further information on this process and contact details can be found here. 

Symptomatic residents should be placed and cared for as outlined in section 8 of the guidance document. 

Whole home testing can prevent and control outbreaks by isolating those that test positive, providing reassurance and...

Whole home testing can prevent and control outbreaks by isolating those that test positive, providing reassurance and enabling continued working for those who test negative.   

Care home managers can now book for weekly testing all staff and residents via the UK Government online portal. 

 

Last Updated: 09 February 2021