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Testing for home care workers
How testing works
Complete a swab test on the same day each week between Thursday and Sunday. Make sure you administer, register and post the test on the same day. Make sure you have everything you need before you complete the test, including a Royal Mail return label.
- every 4 weeks – collect 4 test kits from your organisation
- every 7 days – complete, register and post one test kit
- only test between Thursday and Sunday
Before testing, make sure you:
- get the unique organisation number (UON) from your homecare agency
- read the instructions provided in your test kit
- check collection times at your nearest Royal Mail priority postbox
1. Take the swab test once every 7 days
- blow your nose and wash your hands before testing
- swab your throat and nose for 10 seconds each
- put the swab in the plastic tube with the lid securely fastened – the swab should fit inside without bending
- put the tube with the absorbant pad in a ziplock bag, then in the biohazard bag with the matching barcode
- package the biohazard bag in the provided return box, secure with the security seal, and stick on the Royal Mail label
2. Register your test kit online
To register you will need your homecare agency’s UON.
3. Post your test kit by Royal Mail priority postbox on the same day of testing
Post the completed kits no later than one hour before the last collection time (weekend times may differ from weekdays).
Do not complete or post your test on a bank holiday.
Only use a Royal Mail priority postbox with the label and NHS logos.
Some priority postboxes have a Sunday collection. These will have a label.
You should receive your results within 3 to 5 days. Conduct one test every 7 days.
If you get a positive result
If you get a positive result you must:
- put on a face mask immediately if you’re outside your home
- inform your manager
- stay home/immediately return home and self-isolate for 10 days from your test. You may return to work on day 11 if you’ve not had a high temperature for 48 hours and are well.
If you have any questions you can:
- speak to your manager
- call 119
Do not delay getting help if you’re worried. Trust your instincts.
For medical help, contact 111. In an emergency dial 999.