The NHS in Norfolk and Waveney is offering coronavirus tests to key workers* such as teachers or food industry staff, to help them remain in work and continue to provide support to local people. This also applies to members of their household who may have coronavirus symptoms causing the key worker to self-isolate.
Employers or line managers are required to begin the booking process via a local email system. This is to confirm the person is eligible, after which they will be able to make their own appointment. Bookings can be made immediately.
John Webster, an Executive Director with NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Our local hospitals have worked together to significantly expand community NHS coronavirus testing. We recommend people try to book using our local system rather than the national system because you will be directed to a local test centre rather than a regional centre although the national system offers home tests which equally some people may prefer.”
People on the government key workers list should ask their employer or line manager to register by emailing NorfolkRegistercovidtesting@nnuh.nhs.uk with their (employer) name, job title and contact number. The registration team will contact them to register the organisation so they key worker can then book an appointment. The employer will be given a unique reference number and the contact details.
People who are confirmed eligible for testing in Norfolk and Waveney will be given an appointment at one of three drive or walk-through centres. These are at Centrum, on Norwich Research Park (close to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital), at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn (QEHKL) or at the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) in Gorleston. The service is being managed collaboratively on behalf of all three hospitals by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).
Once an employer or line manager has applied on behalf of a key worker and/or their family, they will be issued a unique reference number and further instructions. All applications will be checked to make sure people are well enough to attend a testing centre, and eligible for a test in line with Public Health England guidance.
People will receive their test results within 48 hours or less, either directly or via their employer’s occupational health service, together with initial advice about to what to do next.
* Key workers include many people working in education, transport, many public services, energy, power and water/sewerage workers, and those working to provide, distribute or sell food. The precise definition is available on this government web page: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested#key-workers
The newly expanded provision in Norfolk and Waveney provides an alternative to the national testing offer which has centres at Ipswich, Stansted, Peterborough and elsewhere.
A more detailed description of the Norfolk and Waveney service is available here
A map with directions to the testing facility on Norwich Research Park is available here
Image credit: Simon Parkin