What Can I Do? Purchased Lateral Flow Tests Can’t Be Registered Via NHS

What Can I Do? Purchased Lateral Flow Tests Can’t Be Registered Via NHS

What Can I Do? Purchased Lateral Flow Tests Can’t Be Registered Via NHS

 

“Did you know that you cannot register your privately purchased Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) on the NHS app/system?”

This issue has naturally caused countless people to be anxious and concerned, with many of them asking themselves: “Why won’t my Lateral Flow Test results register on the NHS System?” – After all, when COVID-19 is still a prevalent clear and present danger, we want to keep ourselves safe, and need to act responsibly. – None of us want to become ill, or inadvertently pass the virus on to others.

 

“The government says it will be able to expand the testing system again in the future if necessary, such as if a new variant of concern emerges” [1]. But this negates the serious prevailing danger of the UK’s COVID-19 threat…

 

The reality of this clear and still frightening danger, was reported by The UK Health Security Agency in April 2022. It stated that: “2,062 deaths within 28 days of a positive test have been reported in the last 7 days, as of 27 April. The data includes the number of people receiving a first, second and booster vaccine dose” [2]

 

QR Codes From Privately Purchased Lateral Flow Tests Are Rejected

The fact of the matter is that only QR codes from NHS supplied tests can be registered. This means that only a small number of COVID-19 cases can be registered. And as a responsible British company within the COVID-19 testing and PPE industry (which covers public, commercial, industrial and home settings, we strongly feel that the UK government and the NHS, need to look into the potentially serious consequences of this matter.  The main issue here is that as only a small number of tests are now provided by the NHS, the government and National Health Service should change their strategy, and enable private tests to be added to the NHS system/app for the purpose of  monitoring data, COVID-19 cases, and other important elements,

As the BBC recently reported: “Most people in England can no longer get free PCR or Lateral Flow Tests. A few groups are still entitled to free Covid tests, including the most vulnerable, as well as frontline NHS staff. Some limited free testing for the public will continue in Scotland until the end of April, and in Wales and Northern Ireland until the end of June” [1]

The Situation in England

 

Unbelievably, this withdrawal of free LFT kits via the NHS, also includes no free access to those who have COVID-19 symptoms. –  That is to say, symptoms from the recently amended list, which is now longer. So this scenario has brought about a contradiction of the government’s and the National Health Service’s intentions for the security and wellness of the nation, vis-à-vis COVID-19.

 

Now, for the majority of people, all Lateral Flow tests (for example, the  FlowFlex® Rapid Lateral Flow Test Kit which utilises cutting-edge state-of-the-art patented technology to ascertain new strains of the COVID-19 virus), must now be purchased, and the users cannot record their results on the NHS app.

 

So Who is Still Eligible For Free Lateral Flow Tests in England?

 

  • NHS staff who come into contact with patients
  • Anyone who works in high-risk environments (e.g. prisons or care homes)
  • Residents of care homes
  • Certain hospital patients
  • Hospital patients who are moved to a hospice or care home
  • Individuals who are entitled to community Covid drug treatments due to their higher risk of contracting the virus. (In this instance, these individuals are sent lateral flow tests to their home – this way they have them at hand if they develop symptoms [1].

What is the Lateral Flow Testing Situation in Scotland?

 

“From 1 May: people with Covid symptoms won’t need to test. Physical test sites will close & contact tracing will end” [1].

 

Just as with England, free LFTs have be abolished for the majority of people in Scotland. They will only be available for individuals who are still subject to regular testing, that is to say, certain hospital patients, health care workers, and those who are in contact with vulnerable individuals in hospices, hospitals or care homes, via their work [1].

Lateral Flow Testing in Wales

 

Up until the end of June 2022, LFTs will be solely available to individuals who report symptoms. Further, unlike in England and Scotland, contact tracing will carry on. Then, from the beginning of July, free Lateral Flow Tests will no longer be available, and contact tracing will draw to a close [1]

Lateral Flow Testing in Northern Ireland

 

At the present time, anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms, or any individual who has to be tested prior to medical treatment, or any other clinical reasons,will be given a free Lateral Flow Test.  However, this is set to be withdrawn prior to the end of June, 2022. – As is contact tracing. Furthermore, subject to review, regular tests for health and social care staff, is being continued for the time being [1].

Putting a Spotlight on the Stats

As of the 27 April 2022, the ‘GOV.UK Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK’ page, notes the following:

 

Patients Who Have Been Admitted For COVID-19

Latest 7 days

10,160

Patients in Hospital With COVID-19

14,097

 

Patients on Ventilation Beds Due to COVID-19

Latest available

326

Stopping Free COVID-19Testing: All About Cutting Costs?

 

As the British Medical Journal points out: “a key plank of this strategy is that, from 1 April, 2022, the UK government will no longer provide free universal symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 testing for the general public. Its justifications are the higher levels of immunity in the population and the need to rein in the “very significant cost to the taxpayer” of providing universal free testing” [4].

Staying Safe By Purchasing a Lateral Flow Test & Getting Quick Results

 

Just because the LFTs have been withdrawn, and you cannot put your private test results on the NHS app, it does not mean that you have to put yourself and your family, loved ones, colleagues, and the general public, at risk. In fact, the more people that step up to taking positive action themselves, the safer the country will be.

Do I Need to Get a Lateral Flow Test After Contact With A Positive Individual?

The answer to this question, is that it is up to you. The NHS in England has stated that after having made contact with an individual who has COVID-19, those living in England, are no longer required to self-isolate, or carry out daily tests, irrespective of their vaccination status. However, the smart advice is to get your own LFT, by purchasing a high quality one from a reputable online retailer. If your test produces a positive result, then the wisest thing to do is to: “self-isolate, and carry on taking a LFT every day for a period of 7 days (or 10 days after your last contact, if earlier)” [1]. Further, it would also be beneficial for close contacts to also take a Lateral Flow Test.

How Have Professionals & Patient Charities Responded to Free Testing Withdrawal?

 

Charities representing patients, and the British Medical Association (BMA) are both: “opposed to removing free testing. Chaand Nagpaul, the BMA council chair, said that only providing free tests to clinically vulnerable people (once they develop symptoms), & not providing any free tests to their friends & family, was “completely illogical, as the priority should be protecting them from infection in the first place” [4]. – And this is one reason why it is essential for concerned people to purchase their own COVID-19 tests…

 

Blood Cancer UK’s Health Information Manager, Abi Howse, told the BMA that: “Families and carers of the vulnerable will run the risk of exposing them to the virus unless they can pay for tests. We’re calling on the UK government to continue free testing, not just for people at the highest risk but for their households and those closest to them too, because protection from COVID-19 should be a right, not a privilege”[4].

The UK Government Needs to Reconsider

In addition to the aforementioned, with regard to regular asymptomatic testing, a charity spokesperson for Kidney Research UK, made the point that: “it is the only way to make sure the most vulnerable have the best opportunity to swiftly access alternative treatments” if infected with COVID-19, adding that the government must reconsider” [4]. Further, the chief executive of the Patients Association, Rachel Power, remarked that this move; “will contribute to COVID-19’s continuing spread”[4].

Summing Up

 

In summary, bearing in mind the country’s current statistics of COVID-19 hospitalisations, those on ventilators, and COVID-19-related deaths: the sharp removal of free COVID-19 testing across the length and breath of the UK, and the fact that purchased Lateral Flow Tests have never been registrable on the NHS app – meaning the number of COVID-19 cases that will be registered and acknowledged is not accurate (thereby falsely making the general public feel safer), seem to have been decided upon without substantial thought and input from concerned parties. To that end, the best course of action for industries, companies, organisations, and individuals, who do not qualify for free testing, is to purchase high quality Lateral Flow Tests from a reputable online retailer.

 

References

[1]. BBC (2022). Who can still get free Covid tests across the UK and can I buy LFTs?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51943612

 

[2]. UK Health Security Agency (2022). Twitter.

https://twitter.com/UKHSA/status/1519332150276939777

 

[3]. GOV.UK Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK. “Healthcare in the United Kingdom.”

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/healthcare

[4]. British Medical Journal. “Covid-19: Who will be eligible for free testing from 1 April?”

BMJ 2022; 376 (Published 25 March 2022).

https://www.bmj.com/content/376/bmj.o807

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