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Covid-19 Primary Care Resources


Antigen testing



Lateral flow tests, PCR tests and when to test patients who don’t meet the case definition for Covid-19

This information is sourced from NHS UKPHE, Department of Health &
Social Care and the UKRI:

GPs can use their clinical judgement to recommend a Covid PCR test:

  • When ordering a SARS-CoV-2 test it is NOT a requirement for the patient to meet the      definition of a possible Covid-19 case. If the definition is not met and the test is considered necessary by a clinical professional, the box should be ticked on the online form
  • Patients with acute respiratory infection, influenza-like illness, evidence of pneumonia, or acute worsening of underlying respiratory illness, or fever without another cause should have a SARS-CoV-2 test

In addition, the following situations should prompt clinicians to consider SARS-CoV2 testing:

  • Onset of delirium in older people, or in those with dementia or cognitive impairment
  • When investigating a possible infection in the immunocompromised in whom atypical Covid-19 presentations may occur

Lateral Flow Tests

  • Lateral flow device (LFD) testing can be used to test people who do not have symptoms of Covid-19
  • A negative result does not guarantee that that the individual does not have coronavirus
  • When an individual has low levels of virus in their system, lateral flow tests are less sensitive than PCR tests
  • When virus levels are highest people are most likely to pass on the disease and lateral flow tests can detect the majority of cases

Lateral Flow Tests in Primary care

Primary care contractors can order more tests on the on the PCSE online portal

PCR tests