Why is the saliva testing programme coming to an end?
The saliva testing programme was always a temporary measure. Saliva testing laboratories were set up in 11 areas across the country that had been identified as having high levels of Covid-19 during Autumn 2020. The aim was to provide additional testing capacity in these areas using high throughput new technology to detect asymptomatic cases of Covid-19. Specifically, the programme served to support the resilience of NHS services across Lancashire & South Cumbia by reducing the risk of transmission in patient facing areas by people carrying the virus who did not have any symptoms.
Is LAMP/saliva testing stopping everywhere or just in Lancashire & South Cumbria?
The Department of Health funded LAMP saliva testing programme is coming to an end which means that all laboratories in the country will stop operating. The closure timescales may vary across areas.
What other options will there be for testing?
It is likely that the main method of testing will be lateral flow testing. Please refer to the local arrangements that your Covid-19 testing has put in place within your organisation. You can also find the latest guidance and information about testing at www.gov.uk/coronavirus
I do not want to go back to lateral flow testing, what can I do?
It is recognised that many employees prefer saliva testing to doing lateral flow and that you have got used to this mode of testing over the last 18 months. It is important that you do continue to test especially if you are working in patient facing areas. Please speak to your Covid-19 lead if you have concerns.
Do I need to keep the HiPRES app or shall I delete it?
Please keep it because very soon you will be able to use the app to record results of your lateral flow test result. It is important that you notify your organisation of your result as they are required to report this data. Further information will be shared when this feature goes live. Also, a development is underway that will give the app other uses, especially if you work in a clinical role. Going forwards the app will support a range of pathways and further information will be shared as these pathways go live.
What will happen to the laboratory at UCLan?
The space occupied by the laboratory belongs to UCLan, therefore when the time comes to finally close down the testing programme the building will be handed back. The equipment in the laboratory will be re-utilised. We are confident that the experience gained by the students working in the laboratory will support them in their future career aspirations and that they will go on to do similar roles.