LAMP Covid testing trials


LAMP Testing

Significant progress has been made with regard to testing of individuals for Covid-19 and this has led to the development Loop-medicated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) testing which makes it easier for the individual to obtain a sample. Another advantage is that LAMP testing only responds to living Covid cells .and not the “dead” Covid cells which are responsible for false positive test results.

Research has shown that approximately 30% of persons who tested positive for Covid-19 were asymptomatic, which means that they experienced no symptoms and could have been spreading the virus which is why testing of asymptomatic persons is so important.

The Trust is preparing the way by running a LAMP testing trial for members of staff based atLongwater Depot, commencing on 14 June with a view to a full roll out afterwards.

LAMP testing is voluntary, only requires the individual to carry out the test on a weekly basis, which need not be on the same day of the week, but does require the sample to be tested the same day that it is provided and all it takes is 1ml of “spit”… nothing up the nose or back of the throat which some people found unpleasant and awkward to achieve.

The NHS app which enables the individual to take part has been designed to function on smart phones, iPads and laptops and all information provided by individuals will be treated in line with current General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Once the results are known, the individual will receive a text message which will also be sent to “Call East” which coordinates all support measures for Trust employees that receive positive test results, including the arrangements for Covid-stand downs.

The sample should be taken first thing in the morning before any food or drink which might affect the sample, or, if following a night shift, after being nil by mouth for at least one hour.

Once the sample has been taken it is placed in its container with the bar code scanned to link the sample to the individual and placed in the envelope provided. This can be then deposited in a collection bin at Longwater Depot or at the N&N Hospital A&E department, from where they will be collected for analysis on the same day the sample was taken.

This is good news and will enable all employees, regardless of their role within the Trust, to be regularly tested.

Jeff Pittman

Unison Health and Safety Officer

25 May 2021