Local testing for key workers

Just Regional
Apr 27, 2020 3 mins read

The NHS in Norfolk and Waveney is offering local coronavirus tests to key workers including some teachers, utilities workers and food industry staff, to help them remain in work and continue to support their communities. This also applies to members of their household who may have coronavirus symptoms causing the key worker to self-isolate.

Employers or line managers are required to begin the booking process via a local email system. This is to confirm people are eligible, after which they will be able to make their own appointments. Bookings can be made now.

Testing will take place at three locations Norfolk and Waveney. This provides an alternative to the national testing programme, which has centres at Ipswich, Stansted and Peterborough.

John Webster, an executive director with NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Our local hospitals have worked together to significantly expand community NHS coronavirus testing. This major boost to covid-19 testing is thanks to the help of scientists at Norwich Research Park. The NHS is working in partnership with the Earlham Institute, John Innes Centre, The Sainsbury Laboratory, Quadram Institute Bioscience, the University of East Anglia, Eastern Pathology Alliance and the Cotman Centre.

Sam Higginson, Norfolk and Norwich Hospital chief executive, said: “This new testing scheme for key workers is an important development in the fight against covid-19 and demonstrates the excellent partnership working between the NHS and scientific organisations on the Norwich Research Park.”

It is recommended that people book into the local system because they will be directed to a local test centre. The national booking system will direct people to one of the national testing centres, none of which are in Norfolk and Waveney. However, the national booking system does also offer a postal home testing service which some people may prefer.

People on the government key workers list should ask their employer or line manager to register by emailing NorfolkRegistercovidtesting@nnuh.nhs.uk with their (employer) name, job title and contact number. The registration team will contact them to register the organisation so they key worker can then book an appointment. The employer will be given a unique reference number and the contact details.

People who are confirmed eligible for testing in Norfolk and Waveney will be given an appointment at one of three drive or walk-through centres:

  • the Centrum centre, close to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
  • the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn
  • the James Paget University Hospital, in Gorleston.

The service is being managed collaboratively on behalf of all three hospitals by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Once an employer or line manager has applied on behalf of a key worker and/or their family, they will be issued a unique reference number and further instructions. Results should be received within 48 hours – either directly or via their employer’s occupational health service, together with initial advice about to what to do next.

Key workers include many people working in education, transport, many public services, energy, power and water/sewerage workers, and those working to provide, distribute or sell food. The precise definition is available here.

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