Which Are The Best Lateral Flow COVID Tests For Care Homes?
On the evening of 22nd February 2021, the Prime Minister announced the UK Government’s roadmap for an easing of lockdown restrictions. This included the following statements:
- “Care home residents will be allowed one regular visitor provided they are tested and wear PPE.”
- “With the agreement of the care home, these visitors will have access to the same testing and personal protective equipment (PPE) as care home staff so that they can play this important caring role.”
The fastest and most convenient means of testing care home visitors is with a lateral flow test, as these can provide highly accurate results within 15-30 minutes and can be carried out on site.
But with several brands of test kits now available, how should nursing home management decide which is the best option for them?
As a key UK supplier of COVID-related PPE and test kits, Encompass offer three lateral flow test kit options:
- Due to the high demand for a premium-brand product, Encompass offer the nasopharyngeal Roche SARS-COV-2 Rapid Antigen Test Kit.
This is, however, a comparatively invasive testing method that requires the back of the throat to be swabbed in the vicinity of the tonsils, as well as the nostrils.
In the care home environment, where test kits might be used for residents as well as visitors, this method might cause distress to disorientated patients and increase the risk of choking and reflux.
In this instance, a nasal swab test might be a preferable option and Encompass offer two alternatives, as outlined below:
Covid-19 Rapid Test Kits For Nursing Homes – Available To Buy Online
As outlined above, the nasal swab lateral flow test kits may be the preferred rapid covid test kit option to buy for many care homes. Choose between:
- Swiss Point of Care COVID Rapid Test Kits – these are inexpensive but still offer a high degree of accuracy. With the additional expense of providing appropriate PPE for staff and visitors, this cost-saving option can help care homes to operate within their budget.
- Hughes Acon Rapid Antigen COVID Test Kits also only require nasal swabbing and have the added benefit of pre-filled tubes of buffer fluid – a small improvement, but a significant factor in reducing accidental spillages and improving testing speed and efficiency.
A Wide Range of PPE also Available:
In addition to lateral flow test kits, Encompass offer a wide range of COVID-related products suited to preventing the spread of coronavirus in the care home sector including:
- Sanitising sprays
- Disposable powder-free nitrile gloves
- Full face visors and face masks
- Clear protective screens
- Coronavirus testing station booths
Wondering if you can use nose and throat test kits as nose-only test kits? Read our article here to find out more.