DoHSC Latest Update: PA Testing and Vaccine Changes

Here is the latest update from the DoHSC explaining the testing and vaccine changes as they affect personal assistants.

PAs now have access to twice weekly rapid Lateral Flow Testing (LFT), with confirmatory PCR testing for a positive test.
PAs are advised to order rapid LFT kits from the universal testing portal. The current PCR testing portal for PAs will soon be closed on the 26th of April.
Full information about testing for PAs can be found here: Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for personal assistantsGOV.UK (
Key advantages:
  • Rapid tests in your own home, twice a week, with results in 30 minutes.
  • Much quicker ordering and registering tests.
  • Either order a box of 7 kits every 21 days for home delivery or collect 14 kits from convenient local sites including pharmacies.
  • Simple testing technology effective at finding people with no symptoms who but are still infectious and can give the virus to others. Further information about lateral flow testing can be found here: Understanding lateral flow antigen testing for people without symptoms – GOV.UK (
How to access tests
Rapid lateral flow tests (LFT) are available for home delivery, for collection at participating pharmacies and local sites, or individuals can be tested at local asymptomatic test sites. PAs should access these tests through any of these routes and test twice weekly (every 3-4 days), as close as possible to starting work. Therefore, staff ordering tests for home delivery should order a box of seven tests every 21 days.
These tests are only for people without symptoms. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test online or by calling 119.
PAs will need to register their positive, negative or void results online or by calling 119. If a PA tests positive with an LFT they must:
  • -immediately isolate.
  • -order a confirmatory PCR test
  • -inform their individual employer.
PAs are eligible for their Covid-19 vaccination as a frontline health and social care workers if any person they are caring for is clinically vulnerable to Covid-19.
PAs should now access an appointment for their vaccination by contacting their GP or any GP in the area they work in. If you cannot access an appointment via this route, or do not have an eligibility letter for your vaccination, then please contact your local authority vaccination lead.
Infection Prevention and Control
Regardless of vaccination status, PAs should continue to follow IPC measures, using appropriate PPE. PAs should contact their local authority for access to free PPE.