Lateral flow testing
By Natalie
Case Studies 17 September 2021

The challenge

  • CHCP were tasked with supporting the rollout of lateral flow tests (LFT) to help identify asymptomatic frontline workers from unknowingly spreading COVID-19. One of the reasons for using Inhealthcare was to design a service that could support collection of kits, testing to a schedule and the reporting of data back to CHCP for use in the mandated situation report.
  • The service needed to be rolled out urgently due to the pace that COVID-19 was spreading in the community.

Solution
Discussions started between CHCP and Inhealthcare at the very end of November with the view to launching the service as soon as was possible.

It launched 3 weeks later on 21 December 2020, meeting all government requirements.

  • 200 invitations a day were sent to staff to invite them to arrange to collect a box of 25 kits. Booking was essential to adhere to social distancing rules.
  • A digital questionnaire was provided after collection of the kits to collect data on lateral flow testing for NHS Digital. This data was collated by Inhealthcare and automatically sent to CHCP on a daily basis.
  • Staff tested themselves twice a week and reported results via email or SMS.
  • If results were not reported, the Inhealthcare technology sent an email or SMS reminder to prompt the staff member to take the test and report the result.
  • Staff were able to request more kits as required. As usage of kits was monitored by Inhealthcare, it was possible to send reminders to order more kits.
  • Data was sent to CHCP every day for inclusion in the situation report.


Three solutions were developed, depending on the result.

For positive results:
– Staff were asked to speak to their manager or occupational wellbeing team to book a PCR test. They were also provided with information about what to do.
– The staff member was sent a message to prompt them to return their PCR test result.
– If it confirmed the positive LFT result, the staff member isolated and did not take another LFT for 90 days. After 90 days, they re-started the testing process.
– If the result was negative, the staff member continued to take LTF tests twice a week.

For negative results:
– The staff member continued to test regularly, as per government guidance.

For invalid results:
– If a staff member received an invalid result, they reported it and received a message asking them to re-take it.
– By reporting the result, Inhealthcare were able to accurately monitor the number of tests used by the staff member and knew when to remind them to order more.

In mid-March 2021, guidance changed.
To gain access to care homes, staff needed to provide proof of a negative test result in the previous 72 hours.
Inhealthcare responded quickly and made the necessary changes to the pathway to enable the staff member to provide proof of a test in the last 72 hours.

 

Results
By mid – January most staff who were eligible, were testing twice weekly with Inhealthcare.

  • 1,500 staff have been tested to date.
  • 40 positive LFT results were received and 15 of these were confirmed by a PCR test and the staff members isolated as a result.
  • 30,000 tests have been processed and results submitted.

Working with Inhealthcare, we were able to launch our Lateral Flow Testing Service in just 3 weeks. We were really impressed by how fast Inhealthcare were able to respond to our needs. They managed to develop and roll out the service extremely quickly, allowing us to get staff tested and enabling us to easily collate results for the National Sitrep. Feedback on the service from our staff was very positive. They found it simple to use and the communications they received were clear and easy to follow. As a result of the service we were able to identify asymptomatic COVID-19 positive staff and stop them from going into the community and potentially spreading the virus.

Lee Russell, Project manager, CHCP
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