COVID-19 testing to support NHS staff in the workplace

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The health system is working together to support NHS staff in the workplace during COVID by providing swabbing facilities for key workers including frontline staff such as PTS, AOC, Make Ready, CFR’s, fleet staff and other roles that are supporting in service delivery, who have a household member with COVID-19 like symptoms (known as an index case 0) and are therefore self-isolating for 14 days or for staff who have COVID-19 like symptoms themselves.

Staff / volunteer (or member of their household) should be tested in the first three days of the onset of COVID-19 symptoms – although testing is considered effective up until day five and staff will be referred up until this point as long as testing can be guaranteed to be undertaken by day five. No testing through this service should be undertaken after day five unless on a case by case basis and discussed with the COVID Lead.

If the swab result from the index case is negative and the staff member is symptom free, then the staff member can return to work. Please speak to your COVID Lead for guidance.

If the swab result from the index case is positive, the staff member will need to continue with their 14-day self-isolation and your COVID Lead will be there for support, along with your line manager.

In addition, the recent NHSE guidance has changed for the National Centres who will now test;

  • all frontline workforce including AOC, Make Ready, CFR’s and other roles who are supporting frontline delivery with symptoms
  • anyone over 65 with symptoms
  • the wider family of EEAST for anyone with symptoms whose work cannot be done from home
  • anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus and lives with any of those identified above
  • NHS workers without symptoms.

This means anyone in one of these groups can find out whether they have the virus. Testing is most effective within three days of symptoms developing.

Individuals who meet the criteria can access a test via the national testing centres. Booking for the national testing centres is done through your COVID 19 lead, as EEAST has priority in appointments. You can do a self-referral, but you need to let your COVID lead know so you can be offered guidance and support and your test is registered with the coordination centre. Local swabbing centres are also still operational and can be accessed in line with current arrangements but not all are testing asymptomatic staff. In addition, there are mobile testing units, run by military colleagues rotating around different locations. The national testing centres are based at Ipswich, Stansted, Peterborough and Milton Keynes.

Remember, your COVID 19 Leads are there to help you and they are in the list below;




Beds and Luton    

Craig Borett       

Cambs and Peterborough

Rebecca Gration 

Herts and West Essex

Sandra Blackshaw   

Mid and South Essex 

Vanessa Ince    

Norfolk and Waveney 

Rogan Day       

Suffolk and North East Essex 

Georgina Lovejoy     

Air Operations

Tim Daniels 

Bedford AOC 

Rebecca Cox         

Chelmsford AOC 

Simon Langley 

Norwich AOC 

Maria Nethercote 


Maria Nethercote 


Gary Perkiss


The internal COVID 19 Leads are listed below;

Sector/Business unit




Vanessa Strutt 

Fleet/Estates – Operations Support

Amanda Flute 


Sudha Pavanakumar 

Medical Directorate/ Clinical Quality / Patient Experience

Lewis Andrews

Lesley Hamilton 

Finance/Procurement/Supplies/ Business & Partnerships

Beth Owen

Heather Madden 

Training & Education

Emma Painter 

Governance team / Exec admin

Sharon Chapman 


Peter Mercer 


Please find the Swab Testing FAQ’s here.

If you have any questions, which are not on the FAQ page, please call or e-mail;

Teresa Church   07803 500425

Andrew Gay       07590 442524

Nicola Young     07769 154224


Published 19th May 2020



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