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COVID-19 clinical support

The current category is COVID-19 General

Covid testing

Employer referral portal and Covid-19 tests 

NHS staff and their household are eligible to request Covid-19 tests through the employer referral portal when they or member(s) of their household have possible coronavirus symptoms.
Employers can order tests 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.
For a GP Practice to register on the employer referral portal they should email:  portalservicedesk@dhsc.gov.uk with the following information:
·         organisation name
·         nature of the organisation’s business
·         region
·         names (where possible) and email addresses of the two users who will load essential worker contact details.

Other healthcare workers

Anti-body testing

Staff update:

Since May SEL CCG have been conducting a programme offering antibody testing to NHS staff, care home staff and social care and domiciliary care staff – many of whom have availed themselves of the offer.

This programme has now come to an end, when staff testing ceased from the end of August. Should there be a requirement for antibody testing to be restarted or expanded, we will let you know.

Some antibody testing will continue, such as where there is a clinical need or where staff have been enrolled onto the Siren Study (acute settings).

GPs may offer antibody testing to patients where there is a real clinical need, noting the current limitations around what a positive or negative result means.

Regardless of the results, government guidelines on social distancing, use of facemasks and PPE as directed should still be followed.

Anti-body testing for patients

  • Patient testing is in the process of being set up on systems and working with local pathology services in some boroughs. We will communicate this to you when it is set up later this month. Further information can be found here.  


COVID-19 testing and 111;

  • 111 no longer arranges COVID–19 testing for patients.
  • ‘111’ is to make it easier and quicker for patients to get the right advice and treatment
  • they need, and remains the contact point for patients seeking advice or treatment should
  • they need it during the GP out of hours period.
  • If a patient requires a COVID-19 test, please ask them to call 119 or visit the portal
  • Also offer any necessary advice on self-isolation if symptoms are present.
  • Patient Antibody Testing – From SEL Newsletter 9.6.20
    We have continued to receive questions regarding GPs responsibility to patients requesting or requiring antibody tests. Most GPs can already request a test should it be required, and we are ensuring that it is technically available to all. Importantly though, considering the information available from results and the limited number of tests South East London has available, we are not promoting antibody testing for GP patients. The value of antibody tests is currently limited to answering the question of whether someone has had the virus or not. It does not confirm immunity and is not part of a patient’s treatment. This position will be revised as the testing programme expands and we will share further information at that time. As an important reminder, if someone has symptoms suggestive of infection with Covid-19, they should self-isolate and have an antigen test.
  • COVID-19 National Testing: Flowing results to GP records. PCR swab testing is now routinely available to members of the public by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119. For further details see the General Practice section of theNHSE/I Primary Care Bulletin 5th June 2020 (issue 47)
  • Sentence Advice from NHSE COVID-19 antibody test results flowing to GP records: 10.9.20
    Results from COVID-19 antibody tests are now flowing into GP records. From 10 September, when a person undertakes an antibody test that is taken through the public antibody portal (an industry ELISA test), the result will now be loaded directly into their patient records. This will be in addition to flowing of test results for pillar 2 viral testing and will follow the same process, according to each practice’s GP IT system provider of choice. Results will be presented on patients’ records as ‘positive’, ‘negative’ or ‘unknown’. As for viral testing, there will be no action required from the GP practice on receipt of the test results. Bulk upload of test results into GP records will take place without any manual patient by patient process. GP practices will shortly receive further guidance by their own system supplier about how this will work in their own system of choice, as well as details on how results will be filed in the system.