Covid-19 National Testing Programme

This week’s Connected Bulletin from NHS is on the Covid-19 National Testing Programme, which might be of interest to members.

This issue includes information on Scotland’s approach to universal testing,
a new helpline to support those implementing testing.


Financial support around Covid-19 testing

The medicines and healthcare products regulatory agency (MHRA) have advised that testing for social care staff should be undertaken in the workplace. MHRA have, however, made an exception for those staff who are dispersed, travel extensively, and do not have a work base or hub. For those staff, testing can be carried out at home. In these cases, employers should confirm the most appropriate location for staff to carry out testing. The Scottish Government meets on a regular basis with the MHRA and any change in advice will be communicated nationally. The Scottish Government adult care at home testing guidance and adult care home visitor testing guidance both contain an overview of testing arrangements for care at home and care home settings.

Scottish Government is keen where possible that staff undertake the test during their working time, including mobile staff who are testing at home. Additional costs incurred by providers as a result of supporting staff to do this (e.g. for mobile staff, backfill for a staff member’s support work or to create time during the core working day) are reasonable additional costs and within scope of the additional funding for the sector for costs incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staff travel to a priority post box or agreed drop-off point to drop off a sample or to collect a testing kit is also recognised as a reasonable additional cost and is within the scope of the additional funding.

Where providers incur other additional administrative costs due to staff testing (e.g. ordering, stocktaking, preparation of kits, distribution, recording data, etc.) these are also recognised as reasonable additional costs and are within the scope of the additional funding for the sector.