Asymptomatic staff testing for COVID-19

Document first published:
Page updated:
Publication type:

Following a pilot with 34 trusts we are rolling out, from the week beginning 16 November, further regular testing of asymptomatic patient-facing NHS staff to include all trusts including ambulance, mental health and community trusts. This is using lateral flow assay devices on nasal swab samples as part of an integrated testing approach and resilience in NHS staff testing. Trusts will be notified in advance of delivery. This will support the NHS to control infection, reduce staff absenteeism and support COVID-19 and non COVID-19 clinical pathways.

A video that explains how to do the test can be found on the NHS Learning Hub.


A standard operating procedure including methodology, implementation and a staff reporting template.



Updated 28 January 2021.

FAQs relating to lateral flow antigen tests for patient-facing NHS staff. For all questions on HR processes following a positive test and related isolation questions, please refer to NHS Employers’ FAQs on asymptomatic staff testing.


A brief guide from NHS Test and Trace and Health Education England for healthcare workers and agreed with experts, setting how the test can be self-administered.