What are NHS Track & Trace Lateral Flow Tests?
These lateral flow tests are part of the NHS community pharmacy COVID-19 lateral flow device distribution service.
This NHS service aims to provide free and easy access to lateral flow tests for anyone who needs them, in order to detect asymptomatic cases in the community.
This means people without symptoms will have free access to lateral flow test kits and, if necessary due to a positive result, can isolate themselves to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
A lateral flow test is a really quick and easy way of finding out if you’ve got COVID-19 - with these tests, you’re able to receive your result within just half an hour.
How do lateral flow tests work?
A lateral flow test, commonly referred to during the pandemic as a ‘rapid test’, is a simple device that can be used to test for a range of medical conditions, including COVID-19. The most common lateral flow test is a simple pregnancy test stick.
These types of tests contain a tiny absorbent pad on which your sample will be placed, and a window where your result will be displayed.
The sample will flow through the test and the strip of paper inside will change colour to display either two lines for a positive result, or one line for a negative result.
How to use a lateral flow test
Taking a lateral flow test for COVID-19 usually involves taking a nose and/or throat swab. That swab is then dipped into the testing solution and dripped onto the absorbent pad - this produces the reaction that will reveal the result.
Once you’ve dripped the solution onto the absorbent pad, the device should be left on a flat surface for 30 minutes. Once that time has passed, you can check whether you’ve got a negative result (one line next to C) or a positive result (two lines - C & T).
If one line is revealed next to T, the result is invalid and you will need to retake your test with a fresh test kit.
You'll need to report your result to the NHS as soon as you've recieved it, no later than 24 hours after you've taken the test. You can report your result online here.
If you test positive:
In the event of a positive test result, you and your household will have to self isolate immediately. The self isolation period includes the day you took the test and the next 10 full days.
You should try to socially distance yourself from the other people in your household, especially if they’re clinically vulnerable.
If you test negative:
Lateral flow tests are excellent at detecting COVID-19 in people who have a lot of the virus in their system. This means that people with only a small amount of the virus in their system may receive a false negative test. So, whilst it’s likely that you’re not infectious with the virus, these tests unfortunately aren't 100% accurate in picking up every case.
This means you can’t use a negative lateral flow test result as a reason to ignore the public health measures in place at the time - you must still follow the guidance.
Why is rapid testing important?
Lateral flow testing in asymptomatic people is an extremely effective way of slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the community. One in four people who have COVID-19 don’t show any symptoms - by regularly testing ourselves, we can be sure that we aren’t unknowingly carrying the virus and spreading it to those more vulnerable than ourselves.
Lateral flow testing is most effective in those with a high viral load. A high viral load referrs to someone who has a lot of the virus in their system - these people are much more likely to spread COVID-19 to others.
Who can take these tests?
You’ll be asked a couple of questions from our pharmacists before you can order these lateral flow tests. We’ll ask you if you’ve collected any lateral flow test devices before, why you need the tests, and the age of the person who’ll be using the tests. These are the most common reasons you might need to undertake regular rapid testing:
Your child is at school or you work at a school
You’re in a bubble with school children or staff
You regularly leave the house for work
Your local council has advised you to take a test
Your GP or other healthcare professional has asked you to take a test
Don’t worry if these reasons don’t apply to you - you'll be able to tell us if you need to be taking regular tests for another reason.
Store in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight. Always keep out of reach and sight of children and do not use this product after the expiry date that is stated on the packaging.
I don’t understand about the code I’m being asked to enter. How do I get this code? I have always just been handed lateral flow tests until now.
If you request on https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests via Order rapid lateral flow tests button you will get a code 16 digits to enter as a pharmacy pickup/delivery
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|Method||Handling Time||Transit Time||Timescale||Approx Cost|
|Standard Shipping (3-5 Working Days)||n/a||n/a||n/a||£0.00|
|Royal Mail Tracked 24||n/a||n/a||n/a||£4.95|
|Sons Tracked 24||n/a||n/a||n/a||£3.90|
|Sons Tracked 48||n/a||n/a||n/a||£2.90|
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NHS COVID-19 Self Test Lateral Flow Tests - 7 Pack Reviews
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