We have been made aware of a pilot study for using lateral flow testing to remove the need for self-isolation. This has come to light through the identification of staff participating in the study and being in work.
Healthcare staff should not be participating in this study. The National team have given clear guidance that lateral flow tests, at this stage, cannot be used to keep people in work, therefore the staff must not be at work if they are known contacts of positive cases.
The link to the study is below:
We have noted from the overview of this study (in this document Daily contact testing study – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)) that people will be asked to avoid visiting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable, in care homes or in hospitals. Therefore this would mean that healthcare staff are not eligible to be included in this work.
We are raising with PHE and track and trace .
Assistant Director of Infection Prevention and Control
NHS England and NHS Improvement – Midlands