COVID test availability in London UK - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

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COVID test availability in London UK


First post here of a PCa member of Healthunlocked.

My daughter, a school teacher in London, needs to take a COVID test, but can't find any free slot with the NHS. I would appreciated any info regarding having the test on a private basis. TIA .

6 Replies

Hi there. what is a PC member of Healthunlocked please?

I would think your daughters school should be able to advise reliable places to go.

Her doctor or pharmacy may be able to offer this advice also.

Search google covid test london lots comes up for walk ins, drive ins, NHS and private.

Best wishes

Hidden in reply to Bkin

PCa = Prostate Cancer.

School gave her a number for the test and advised to call 111 which is not responding, but offloads callers to a website. At said website, after answering a couple of questions, the verdict was: You need to take the test. NHS is useless in this respect.

That is why I am requesting here personal knowledge regarding private COVID testing. As a general rule informed people are a better source of info compared to Google.

Bkin in reply to Hidden

Hope an informed person with personal knowledge can answer your query then.

At present, although there are companies offering the service, private antigen testing - tests for whether you currently have the virus - are not accepted within the U.K. The companies offering them are marketing them more for those that need to ‘prove’ their covid negative status to travel to a country operating an immunity based entry system, and as far as the government is concerned, anything other than an NHS test is not valid: any positive test has to be included in the national statistics and reported to the WHO, so they need to be satisfied that all test results are as clinically reliable as possible, which means restricting how they’re processed and validated to try and ensure that’s the case. This is why none of the major private healthcare providers in the U.K.,such as Bupa or Spire, are currently providing antigen tests. Some are now offering antibody tests to look for historical infection, including Bupa, but there are serious concerns about the validity of some of the antibody tests being carried out privately - particularly self testing and sending by post - because the antibody panel tests in particular are not certified for testing blood obtained by any method other than a proper draw from a vein.

Has your daughter been contacted by track and trace or have potential covid symptoms? If not, even if she can locate a test she may still be refused. They’re being a lot more stringent with who should be tested at the moment due to the reallocation of tests to lockdown areas and the general shortage being experienced due to demand.

Edited to add: some industries requiring evidence of a negative covid swab will accept private antigen tests. From friends working in film and tv this is a widespread requirement, but usually organised by the production company.

Hidden in reply to Charlie_G

Thank you for your detailed info. She has potential covid symptoms, she is optimistic that it is plain flu though, but will not set foot on school until it is determined what she has. Teachers are classified as key workers but this doesn't seem to grand them any testing priority. On the other hand, us as parents, we would like her to take the test regardless of it being accepted or not by the authorities.

Try using 119 instead to get a home test kit sent, if they have any if not keep trying. A whole lot better that traipsing across half the country. The downside is it takes longer to get the results.

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