Coventry LPC

Testing Pharmacy Staff for Covid-19

As key workers, pharmacy staff are eligible for priority Covid-19 swab testing.  Across the UK, over 50 drive-through regional testing sites have been established, including some mobile access points.

The previous methods to access the swab testing have now lapsed and all bookings need to be made through the government’s self-referral portal.

A user guide for the online portal can be downloaded HERE.

Coronavirus Testing Helpdesk: 0300 303 2713

If the self-referral portal is overloaded, essential  workers (including pharmacy staff) have the option to arrange priority testing through their employer. Please find more information below.

  • Test and Trace
  • Eligibility Criteria (Swab Test)
  • Testing Sites in the West Midlands (Swab Test)
  • Applying through the government’s self-referral online portal (Swab Test)
  • Employer referral for essential workers
  • Frequently Asked Questions (Swab Test)
  • Antibody testing programme
  • What’s the difference between the Swab Test and the Antibody Test?
  • Checklist for pharmacy in case of Covid-19 outbreak
  • Useful Links
Test and Trace

The governments Test and Trace programme was launched on 28th May 2020.

In July 2020 PSNC published clarification on how the Test&Trace applies to community pharmacies. This briefing was updated in October.


PSNC Briefing 022/20: NHS Test and Trace (October Update)

Test and Trace: Advice for community pharmacy (October update 1)

Test and Trace: Advice for community pharmacy (October update 2)

Staff pausing the test & trace app when at work

PSNC advice on the QR codes

Test and Trace Business Continuity Planning

Test and Trace FAQs

Managing Covid-19 cases in Pharmacy

Coventry Local Outbreak Plan

QR Codes: The Government is encouraging businesses and organisations to display official NHS QR code posters at their venue entrances to help support contact tracing. Community pharmacies are not required to display NHS QR code posters but may do so, according to Government advice. More about this on PSNC.

Eligibility Criteria (Swab Test)

Note: Eligibility for testing has now been extended to the general population but essential workers can apply for priority testing.


To meet the testing criteria you must either be:

• An individual (adult or child) with coronavirus symptoms living in the same household as an essential worker


• An essential worker, with coronavirus symptoms.

In addition, you should be in the first three days of the onset of your coronavirus symptoms at the time the swab is taken – although testing is considered effective up until day five.

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

Note: We are also expecting details of testing options for asymptomatic staff through NHSEi and the new antibody testing in due course.

Testing Sites in the West Midlands (Swab Test)

Edgbaston Cricket GroundEdgbaston Rd, Birmingham, B5 7QU

Midland Metropolitan Hospital site:  Cranford St, Smethwick B66 2RT

Ricoh Arena: Judds Ln, Coventry, CV6 6GE

Worcester Warriors: Sixways Stadium, Warriors Way, Worcester, WR3 8ZE

Please note that not all testing sites may be available to you – you will be advised at the time of your application.

Applying through the government’s self-referral online portal (Swab Test)

On April 23rd, the government announced the opening of an online portal for key workers to apply for Covid-19 testing. Please check the eligibility criteria before applying.

There are two ways to get a test: 1) Regional testing site 2) Home delivery

Initially, numbers will be limited for the home delivery route. This will increase over the next few weeks.

Please visit the following link and enter your details as requested:

For more information, please refer to the User Guide.

Employer referral for essential workers

If the self-referral portal is overloaded, essential  workers (including pharmacy staff) have the option to arrange priority testing through their employer. Please follow the procedure below:

Employers can refer essential workers for testing if they are self-isolating because either they or member(s) of their household have coronavirus symptoms.

They can do this by uploading the names and contact details of self-isolating essential workers to the secure employer referral portal.

Referred essential workers will then receive a text message with a unique invitation code to book a test for themselves (if symptomatic) or their symptomatic household member(s) at a regional testing site.

To get a login to the employer referral portal, employers of essential workers should email with the following information:

  • organisation name
  • nature of the organisation’s business
  • region
  • names (where possible) and email addresses of the 2 users who will load essential worker contact details

Once employer details have been verified, 2 login credentials will be provided for the employer referral portal.


Frequently Asked Questions (Swab Test)

Freqently Asked Questions

What if I don’t have my NHS Number?
This is fine, although if we can get this it is preferred. NHS number can be found via the NHS app or by contacting a local GP.

Can other household members be tested?
If only the keyworker is symptomatic we will only test them. If there are other household members who are symptomatic we can test all symptomatic adults in the household.

What is this test for?
It is a PCR test, to test whether you have COVID19. It is not an antibody test to identify if you have had or are immune to the virus.

Can I walk or arrive in a taxi?
You must drive to the test centre. There is no option to use public transport, walk or take a taxi. If you can’t drive you should arrange for a household member only to drive you through the test site  and sit in the passenger seat behind the driver.

When will I get my results?
As quickly as possible. We expect this may take up to 72 hours.

Antibody testing programme

Each NHS region is coordinating its own specific arrangements to roll out antibody testing to NHS staff. The test is a venous blood test, which will be taken by a qualified member of staff and processed through NHS pathology networks. The test should progressively be offered to NHS staff who want it, including those working on NHS premises but not directly employed by the NHS, working for the NHS but not on NHS premises, and those in primary, community, and mental health care including community pharmacists.

Antibody testing programme roll out for NHS staff and patients: Letter from Pauline Philip and Professor Steven Powis

What’s the difference between the Swab Test and the Antibody Test?
Checklist for pharmacy in case of Covid-19 outbreak

Providing information for Community Pharmacies about the work of the Local Pharmaceutical Committee and of the Community Pharmacy Services commissioned within Coventry


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