The Scottish Government has published guidance to prioritise testing to enable key employees to return to work. This programme runs alongside the existing programme of testing in the NHS for key workers in Health and Social Care and Children and Families teams. Separate arrangements are also now in place for school-based staff.

All employees should make a self-referral for testing if they have symptoms – testing is most effective within the first 3 days of symptom onset, but can be undertaken up to 5 days after symptom onset.

Recording

Services must keep MyView updated with correct information.

Process

The Government's Employer Referral Portal was decommissioned on 27 February, therefore it will no longer be possible for HR to arrange tests for employees through this route.

Self-referral

If an employee has symptoms they should make arrangements for a test on a self-referral basis by completing the Get a free NHS test to check if you have coronavirus form. They can refer themself or a family member who is symptomatic at any time. A level of priority testing appointments will be retained for key workers.

Post testing

  • Employees should be encouraged to share results with their manager at the earliest opportunity.
  • Managers should maintain contact with the employee to establish the outcome, updating MyView accordingly and supporting the employee back to work, where appropriate. Advice is available from the service HR contact.
  • Where testing has not been undertaken, managers should maintain contact with employees for an update on their status at the end of the self-isolation period to support a return to work.
  • Managers should report incidents where employees become unwell with COVID symptoms in a Council workplace or if they have tested positive and have been at work during their infectious period on the SHE Assure system
  • Where a positive result is identified, the employees’ line manager must conduct a COVID Incident investigation within SHE, in order to collect relevant information to assist the NHS and also to determine if work related transmission of COVID-19 has occurred. MyView should also be updated.
  • Where an employee has tested positive but has not been within the workplace during their infected period (for example, home working) this does not need to be reported on SHE Assure and should be reported using MyView.

Any queries regarding the use of SHE Assure should be directed to:

Asymptomatic tests for school-based staff

The Scottish Government has recently announced that staff based in schools can access a PCR test even if they have no symptoms.

Following a positive outcome from a Lateral Flow Test where there are no symptoms, the employee should make an appointment for a PCR test via the self-referral route. They should complete the Get a free NHS test to check if you have coronavirus form.

Once selecting "Get Started" they should respond to the questions as follows:

  • Is the person who needs a test an essential worker – "yes"
  • Does the person who needs the test have Coronavirus symptoms – "no"
  • Has the person been asked to get a follow up test – "no"
  • Is the person who needs the test part of a trial or a government pilot project – "no"
  • Why are you asking for a test – select "My local Council or Health Protection Team has asked me (or someone I live with) to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms".

Thereafter, enter your requested personal details and submit your referral.