Testing for staff in supported living settings

Update to Testing 30th September 2022

Testing will be paused in routine asymptomatic testing (that is testing for those without symptoms) for those working in and visiting health and social care settings from Monday 3 October 2022.

All advice in relation to testing will continue to be kept under review and measures, including reintroduction of these asymptomatic testing arrangements, may be necessary into the future should the current risk assessment change and in order to mitigate against severe harm for the most vulnerable.

It is important to note that targeted testing will remain in place as follows:

Symptomatic testing

Residents with symptoms of COVID-19 should take a lateral flow test at the onset of symptoms (day 0) and take a further LFD test 48 hours later (day 2) if the first test is negative.

Staff members who have COVID-19 symptoms should follow the same symptomatic testing protocol as for residents. If symptoms begin at home (off-duty), they should not attend work while awaiting both lateral flow test results. If symptoms begin at work, they should inform their line manager and return home as soon as possible.

All positive tests should continue to be notified to the PHA Health Protection Duty Room on 0300 555 0114.

Please contact your local HSC Trust care home team for test kits and support in Pillar 1 and continue to order LFT kits as below.

Step by Step Logistics Process

Supported living providers in Northern Ireland will continue to use Salesforce to order LFD test kits, using the unique organisational identity code which has previously been supplied.

  • Unique organisation number: To find out your UON use the online UON look-up page, or call 119.
  • Ordering test kits with your UON: Place an order of COVID-19 tests online.
    • If you have queries about LFT orders  call the National Testing Programme Helpdesk freephone on 119. 
  • Receive test kits: Please ensure that all kits are stored in line with manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Using LFD kits: Check test make and then follow the test instructions when testing. Please note the guides are available in different formats and languages and include easy read and large print versions.
  • Report LFD test results: Reporting the result of every LFD test is encouraged, even if it is negative or void.
    • Staff members can register LFD tests individually, or managers can register them in bulk using the multiple upload
    • Where organisations have a UON, staff should report results using that UON. Providers do not need to retain records of proof of registrations.
  • Test Results: All positive tests should continue to be notified to the PHA Health Protection Duty Room on 0300 555 0114.

If you need additional support, please email regulartesting@hscni.net

Privacy information on COVID-19 testing can be found here.