COVID-19 Testing

Please see PSNCs page ( for the latest information regarding the National programme for COVID-19 testing for community pharmacy staff.  An online portal, developed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), can be used to book a test at one of the national test centres.

Coronavirus Testing Access – Access for Community Pharmacy Team Members and Locations Expanded

Email Communications

  • All contractors should have had two emails from NHSE&I to their shared mailboxes on 22 April 2020
  • There was another email from NHSBSA that has landed somewhat sporadically on Sat 18 April detailing access to the CQC-run regional centre only
  • The NHSE&I one from 22 April as both sets of info on it (regional centres and local satellites also) so is far more useful with a solid distribution we are confident in

Booking and Locations

  • The web-address portal should be used for access to the Regional Centre at Haydock
  • The email address should be used to request access at the satellite centres in Liverpool, Kendal, Crewe or Chester
  • Precise details about the test and locations will be provided at booking
  • Employers must nominate for access (Employer nomination can be made by pharmacy manager or supervisor type roles for multiple pharmacies). The Pharmacy Shared Email address MUST be used as the portal registration/email request for the system to recognise you as a valid pharmacy team member


  • Candidates for testing are people who are symptomatic but not so ill that they can’t work, or family members causing a key worker to need to self-isolate until COVID-19 can be ruled out. Anyone who is too ill to work will not be tested
  • This testing is open to staff members and their household members who are symptomatic between days 1-5 – ideally the swab should be done on day 3. No testing will be routinely offered or undertaken after day 5 of symptoms
  • The regional centre can test people 18 and over only. Children over the age of 4 can be tested at the satellite centres


  • Results are typically available within 72 hours and sent via text message.
  • Negative: This means that key workers, who have been self-isolating because they are symptomatic, can continue to work – if they test negative – with no risk to patients and/or colleagues they work with.
    Likewise, if a key worker is living with someone who has symptoms, and that person’s test is negative, there is no need for a key worker to self-isolate for 14 days
  • Positive: Where this is confirmed team members can continue to follow guidelines and self-isolate to keep themselves and others safe

Travel and Access

  • The regional centres are strictly drive-through appointments only so the symptomatic person must be able to drive themselves or be driven by a member of their household only to attend the test site (sitting in the back seat behind the driver if this is the case). This is only for people aged 18 or over.
  • The satellite testing sites can test people who arrive on foot as well as by car. Transport by car is preferable upon the balance of risk
  • Team Members and/or their household who do not have access to car transport must walk to the site. Public transport or a taxi CANNOT be used to get to the site, and strict social distancing and hand washing measures must be observed.

More Info

  • We cannot publicise the links/emails as they are strictly for pharmacy eyes, however if you cannot find the email we will happily send it out again – contact us at to request it with your F-Code, Pharmacy name and a contact name
  • The deadline for requests is 11am each day to allow appointments to be coordinated for testing the following day

Further details can be found on the PSNC website.