Weekly Coronavirus testing for staff in supported living settings


Asymptomatic staff testing (that is testing of staff with no symptoms) which will continue to be advised for all four supported living thematic groups (older people; disability and mental health; younger people and homelessness) and will include jointly and non-jointly commissioned schemes.

From Monday 25 April 2022 onwards, testing of asymptomatic staff working in the Supported Living sector will be switching from a weekly PCR test to twice weekly Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing.

LFD testing kits to be used for this asymptomatic testing programme will be the Orient Gene rapid nose only tests for COVID-19 which will provide a result within approximately 15 minutes.

Asymptomatic staff should conduct LFD testing in their own home before beginning work, and should undertake 2 LFD tests per week. Tests should be taken 3 to 4 days apart.

If a member of staff is only working on a part time basis, for example 2 days per week, then they should take a LFD test on those days before beginning work.

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.

The asymptomatic testing arrangements advised for staff working in the supported living sector will continue to be kept under regular review.

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. A PCR test is no longer required.

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.

From Tuesday 21st June, PCR testing for COVID-19 in an outbreak scenario will be moved back to Pillar 1. Pillar 2 should continue to be used for outbreak testing up to and including Monday 20th June. Letter outlining guidance available here.

All positive tests should continue to be notified to the PHA Health Protection Duty Room.

Step by Step Logistics Process

Unique organisation number

NHS Test and Trace assigns all participating organisations a single Unique Organisation Number (UON).

A UON is an 8-digit number that is exclusive to an individual organisation. This can be used to log in to all online elements of the testing process.

The UON will be needed for:

  • ordering test kits
  • registering test kits
  • contacting the national COVID-19 contact centre for support (dial 119)

Make sure that your UON is correct when you log into the portal. If the UON entered is not valid, you will be prompted by a new error message screen.

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. You will need:

 your UON

 total number of staff for testing


Once you have placed an order, you will receive a confirmatory email from organisation.coronavirus.testing@notifications.service.gov.uk  

The testing coordinator will receive an email from organisation.coronavirus.testing@notifications.service.gov.uk when their test kits have been dispatched, informing them of their delivery date.

Test kits will be delivered to the address registered to the UON.

If you have any questions about your order, call 119. If you are close to running out of stock and require an urgent and emergency delivery, you should also call 119.

Receive test kits

When you receive the test kits, please ensure that all kits are stored in line with manufacturer’s instructions.

Testing days

All staff should take an LFD test twice a week, 3 to 4 days apart, before they begin work. If they only work 2 days per week, they should take LFD tests on these days before beginning work.

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.

Multiple registration spreadsheet

Only use the multiple upload spreadsheet to register up to 100 tests at a time.

Once you have successfully registered each LFD you will receive a confirmation email or text message. When you receive the test result email, this may not include the name of the resident or staff member.

You should therefore retain a careful record of each test barcode and the name of the resident or staff member. Staff members should also retain a record of their own test barcode.

Test Results

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

If you have queries about orders, deliveries, extra or missing test kits, or test results you can phone the National Testing Programme Helpdesk freephone on 119. (Open 7am – 11pm, 7 days per week).

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

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