UKPIN launch COVID-19 home testing project for primary and secondary immunodeficiency patients

UKPIN, in collaboration with the charity Saving Lives,  the University of Birmingham and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, are starting a national pilot programme to help immunodeficiency patients access home testing kits for COVID-19.  People showing symptoms of COVID-19 infection should contact their immunology centre. The centre will then request a test kit, through the website TakeATestUK, which will be sent by post to the affected patient.  The patient will then take a self-sampled swab, using the test kit instructions, and then post the swab back to the laboratory, using regular post.

Results will be delivered within 24 hours of the laboratory receiving the swab and will go straight to the patient, via their mobile, and patients will be advised to seek guidance from their local clinical teams.  Positive results will also be automatically centrally notified for Track and Trace purposes.  If symptoms are persistent and suggestive of COVID-19 and there is a negative test, patients are advised to discuss this and further testing options with their clinical team.

Professor Alex Richter, Consultant Immunologist, at the University of Birmingham, who heads the project said, 'This is a small pilot study that we want to make available to all interested centres - 200 swabs have initially been made available to test patients. It has been made possible by start-up grants from Takeda and CSL Behring. The aims of the pilot are to make home testing readily available to a vulnerable shielding cohort and to determine the feasibility of remote sampling. We hope that this programme will provide valuable insight into the feasibility, strengths and weakness of delivering remote testing to primary and secondary immunodeficiency patients. Further funding streams to continue this work are being explored.'

We hope this project will be of help to you as we see a rise in cases of COVID.

FAQs

Q. When you say contact your immunology centre do you mean the hospital team at the immunology department and will they all know about this?

A. UK PIN have told Immunodeficiency UK that patients should contact your hospital immunology team and that all centres know of the project.

Q. Is this service available in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England?

A. Yes, the project covers the whole of the UK.

Posted November 2020