Coronavirus Testing – PCR, Antigen and Antibody COVID-19 Tests

Medical, Health and Education Ltd are providers of COVID-19 PCR testing (General Testing, Fit to Travel, Day 2 and 8, and Test To Release) laboratory services, Government Approved / CE marked Lateral Flow Coronavirus Antigen Test kits and Antibody finger-prick test kits. Our coronavirus testing services are available to the general public, healthcare sector and businesses across the UK. We hold ISO-9001 and ISO-15189 accreditation and are a UKAS Accredited Medical Laboratory (No. 22610) with a Medical Doctor on our Medical Advisory Board.

We provide free technical support to help you select the right test for your needs and we support our corporate and healthcare clients with free training via video conferencing.

Types of Coronavirus Testing Available:

  • General PCR Testing
  • Fit to Travel PCR Tests (including a Fit to Travel Certificate from a Medical Doctor when required – sometimes known as a Fit to Fly Certificate)
  • Day 2 and 8 Travel Packages (to meet UK legal requirements for entry into the UK)
  • Day 2 tests for International Arrivals
  • Test To Release PCR Testing (To release early from Quarantine – After 5 full days of Quarantine)
  • Government Approved Antigen Tests (Lateral Flow Nasal Swab Tests)
  • Dual Antibody Tests (based on a finger-prick) to detect IgM and IgG Antibodies

We also provide all of the necessary PPE to facilitate this kind of testing, from gloves and aprons to facemasks and face shields. We provide all of the written procedures, consent forms, donor information sheets, GDPR documentation and risk assessment paperwork to make this process immediately accessible and straightforward for any workplace, with the appropriate training and guidance.

Watch the video below to learn more about our PCR testing services:

24 Hour General PCR Swab Testing – Via an ISO-15189 Accredited Laboratory

Our general RT-PCR swab testing service offers rapid turnaround of COVID-19 test results on a daily basis, 7 days per week. The laboratory results are sent by SMS text message to the donor’s mobile and via an email containing a password protected PDF report to our customer. Our laboratory turnaround averages less than 24 hours. For our healthcare and corporate customers, we can provide 24/7 access to a live results overview spreadsheet of all test results under your account (upon request). We are registered with the DHSC as a PCR test provider and ensure daily reporting to Public Health England for our PCR results, so you don’t have to. General PCR screening is often used to confirm the results of on-site coronavirus testing, such as via antigen tests (lateral flow tests) or antibody tests. It is also appropriate for travel to countries who do not specifically require a GP fit to fly certificate. The NHS will not currently provide PCR testing for positive point of care test users where the donor is not showing any symptoms, so this has to be sought privately. Equally, they will not provide free PCR testing for travel purposes. Please contact us to set up a PCR testing service for your organisation (on account), or complete our PCR booking form to organise an individual test.

Fit to Travel PCR Certificates / Fit to Fly Certificates

If you are looking to source a PCR test for travel purposes, we would be happy to help. We would visit the https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice website to determine if a General PCR test is sufficient, or whether you also need a Fit to Travel Certificate as well. We can provide both. Most travel destinations currently only require a Negative PCR Test, but some also require a Fit to Fly Certificate signed by a Medical Doctor to confirm that you are safe to travel. Different Government sites use different terminology, such as molecular tests, NAAT (nucleic acid amplification test), PCR or RT-PCR, or even genetic tests. These phrases typically refer to the same test, but a Fit to Travel Certificate is in addition to the test. Please contact us for advice on 01283 375093 or contact us via our contact form for assistance. If you know which test you require, please contact us to set up a PCR testing service for your organisation, or complete our PCR booking form to organise an individual test.

Day 2 and 8 Travel Packages and Day 2 only Tests

The UK Government currently requires all people entering the country to participate in Day 2 and 8 testing for visitors from “Amber List” countries and Day 2 testing for “Green List” countries. We are happy to provide this testing for our customers via our online booking form. Please check the Government list to determine if the country you visited is in the Red, Amber or Green list:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england

We send the Day 2 and 8 Swab Packages directly to your quarantine address for the swabs to be self administered on the appropriate date. All instructions and transport packaging is provided. Your date of arrival into the UK is considered to be Day 0.

From the 4th October 2021, the rules are being simplified, so please follow the link above for specific details.

Test To Release PCR Testing (TTR)

The Government’s Test To Release Programme is aimed at helping to reduce the impact of quarantine after returning to the UK from overseas travel. Please check the Government list to determine if the country you visited is in the Red, Amber or Green list:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england

Anyone who has arrived from an “Amber List” country can shorten their quarantine with a negative day 5 test to release test. However, this EXCLUDES any travellers who have arrived in the UK travelling from or through “RED LIST” countries within the last 10 days. All arrivals who are self-isolating in England after travel from any country with a travel ban to the UK (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/transport-measures-to-protect-the-uk-from-variant-strains-of-covid-19) must self-isolate for 10 days and cannot opt in to Test to Release.

If a traveller arrives in England and has been in any of these countries during the 10 days prior to their arrival in the UK, they will not be able to shorten their self-isolation period through Test to Release. British and Irish nationals, or third country nationals with residence rights in the UK, can enter the UK after having been in these countries but are required to self-isolate on arrival until 10 full days have passed since they last departed from any of these countries. People who share a household with anyone self-isolating after returning from the above countries now also need to self-isolate until 10 days have passed since anyone they live with was last in one of these countries.

As a Test to Release PCR test provider, we make every effort to exclude any travellers from these red list destinations at the point of booking, but our sample collection staff will enquire about the travel history of the donor before any sample collection takes place. At the point of booking, we will have collected the following data fields from international arrivals, via our online booking form:

• Full name
• Sex
• Date of birth
• NHS number (if known and applicable)
• Ethnicity
• Home address, including postcode, and the address at which they intend to self-isolate (if different)
• Email address
• Telephone number and / or mobile number for SMS results
• The date of their arrival in the UK
• Their coach number, flight number or vessel name (as appropriate)
• The date on which they last departed from or transited through a non-exempt country or territory, or a non-exempt region of a country or territory ‒ a destination not on the travel corridors list
• The country or territory they were travelling from when they arrived in the UK, and any country or territory they transited through as part of that journey
• Passport number or ID card reference number

For safety and to eliminate donor contact time with our sample collection staff, we conduct Test To Release PCR testing via a self administered swab (under the supervision of a trained and competent clinical team member upon request over video conference facilities). The donor will be sent their pre-booked swab pack, in accordance with our Test To Release booking instructions, to arrive no sooner than 5 days after they left their travel destination.

For Example:

If the donor leaves a country on Monday morning and arrives in England on Monday afternoon, Tuesday will be their first full day of self-isolation. The donor can take a test no earlier than their 5th full day of self-isolation – in this case, Saturday. They must continue to self-isolate while awaiting the test result.

During our booking process, the donor will agree an appointment time to verify their details and to self administer their swab under supervision. Our preferred video conferencing system is Microsoft Teams. However, Zoom or Google Meet are also available.

They should also have completed the Government Passenger Locator Form (preferably 48 hours before returning to the UK) at https://www.gov.uk/provide-journey-contact-details-before-travel-uk and logged the test reference number, provided at the time of booking. Complete our Test to Release PCR booking form to organise an individual test.

Government Approved Coronavirus Antigen Test Kits (Lateral Flow Nasal Swab Tests)

Our Covid-19 Antigen Test is one of the first Rapid Antigen Tests approved by the UK Government. This test has been used by the UK Government to mass test the general population in several major cities across the United Kingdom and is in use in many UK businesses to ensure safe operation for staff.

The test is designed for use by clinical professionals (eg Doctor / Practice Nurse / Employer Occupational Health departments, etc) but this extends to any medical qualification, including qualified first aiders. In addition to the kits themselves, we provide all of the infrastructure needed to support you in conducting your own testing. Alternatively, we can provide paramedics / nurses to conduct the testing for you.  We are also happy to train staff in the use of the equipment via Microsoft Teams. 

Here is a video to demonstrate the use of the kit.

In December 2020, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued a special exemption allowing such kits to be used by members of the public for home use, so these kits are certainly suitable for staff to self administer the collection process within the workplace, but we would recommend trained / designated competent staff conduct the actual testing or to oversee sample collection.  We are happy to conduct the training for you, via Microsoft Teams, whilst we have available appointment slots.

Benefits of lateral flow tests:

  • Approved by UK Government
  • Results ready within 15 minutes for SARS-CoV-2 antigen
  • Enables quick patient treatment decisions
  • Time-saving, simple procedure
  • No extra equipment required, All necessary reagents, etc, provided
  • High specificity and sensitivity

Each Antigen Test Kit Contains:

  • 20 Test cassettes
  • 20 Sterile swabs
  • 20 Extraction tubes and dropper tip
  • 1 Workstation
  • 2 Buffers
  • 1 Package insert, with instructions

Coronavirus Testing Clinical Evaluation:

Positive Percent Agreement (PPA): 97.3%
Negative  Percent Agreement (NPA): 99.6%
Overall Percent Agreement (OPA): 98.9%
Specimen: Nasopharyngeal (NP) Swab

Time to Results: 15 minutes.
Shelf Life: usually 24 months from the date of manufacture.

Antigen Testing Performance Characteristics:

The Covid-19 Antigen Test (Nasal Swab) has been evaluated with specimens obtained from patients. A commercialised molecular assay was used as the reference method. The results show that the Covid-19 Antigen Test (Nasal Swab) has a high overall relative accuracy.

In the event of a positive result, we recommend a PCR test to confirm the results.  If you wish to conduct a private PCR test via our laboratory, the results will be available in 48 hours (although this is often within 24 hours). We are available to support your use of all our equipment via video conference call.

Dual Antibody Tests (based on a finger-prick) to detect IgM and IgG Antibodies

These professional, lateral-flow, blood screening kits have been in use in hospitals all over the world, and are also now available in the UK having been given approval by the UK Government via the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

They work in a similar way to a diabetes finger prick-test and are simple to use. However, as they are certified / CE Marked for professional use only, this means that there is an expectation of medical participation or supervision during testing, such as a Doctor, nurse or pharmacist, or qualified first aider. Full and detailed instructions are provided with the kit, but the professional conducting the test should wear the appropriate and Government recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) which meet BS/EN standards.

This coronavirus test is a point of care finger prick blood spot test and only needs 2 drops of blood to give results in 15 minutes. PCR and Antigen tests are viewed as virus tests which give information on current infection, whereas antibody tests are viewed as being tests that give historic information. These on-site test kits provide cost effective rapid screening, which will determine whether the person is negative, IgM positive (infection within approximately the last 2-3 weeks) or IgG positive (infection within the last 16 weeks approximately).

In the event of a positive result, we recommend a PCR test to confirm the results. If you wish to conduct a private PCR test via our laboratory, the results will be available in 48 hours (although this is often within 24 hours).

COVID-19 Testing Documentation and Procedures

For any corporate testing requirements, we provide all of the literature and forms you might require. This includes donor information sheets, consent forms, GDPR data protection information sheets, testing protocols, example risk assessments, product instruction videos, etc. We have specific versions for each type of test offered above. We can even send you procedures and templates for reporting Antigen test results to Public Health England. Let us eliminate any complications for you and short-cut you to a workable and streamlined process. Simply contact us by email or telephone and we will send you everything you need.

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