NHS Lateral Flow Device Service

NHS-funded COVID tests through your local Peak Pharmacy, specifically for patients identified as among the most vulnerable.

The home testing kits being distributed are familiar to many, having been frequently used in the NHS Test and Trace system. The primary goal of this initiative is to grant those at the highest risk of infection swift and dependable access to COVID testing. A positive test result within this group becomes a valuable component of the clinical assessment conducted by NHS 111, your GP, or a hospital specialist, informing the prescription of approved COVID treatments.

It's important to note that not everyone meets the eligibility criteria for this NHS service, and proof of eligibility may be required. If you find yourself ineligible, there's no need to worry, as Peak Pharmacy continues to offer COVID-19 LFTs for purchase in nearly all our pharmacies.

For further insights into the eligibility criteria, let's delve a bit deeper.

Who is eligible for the NHS Lateral Flow Device Service?

The service is available on the NHS to anyone 12 years and over who is part of the potentially eligible for COVID treatment group. 

Many conditions are covered by the new scheme.  We have summarised the guidance into a bulleted list below, but we would encourage you to read the official inclusion criteria as the summarised list may not contain all conditions.  

Down's Syndrome and Other Genetic Disorders

- Individuals with Down's syndrome or chromosomal disorders affecting immune competence.

Solid Cancer
- Metastatic or locally advanced inoperable cancer.
- Lung cancer at any stage.
- Those receiving chemotherapy, PI3K inhibitors, or radiotherapy within 12 months.
- Individuals with cancer resected within 3 months (without adjuvant therapy) or within 3 to 12 months (with no adjuvant therapy).

Haematological Diseases and HSCT Recipients
- Allogeneic HSCT recipients in the last 12 months or with active GVHD.
- Autologous HSCT recipients in the last 12 months.
- Individuals with haematological malignancies, including those receiving CAR-T cell therapy or SACT within the last 24 months.
- Specific blood disorders like myeloma, AL amyloidosis, etc.
- People with sickle cell disease and thalassaemia.

Renal Disease
- Renal transplant recipients, especially those with additional risk factors.
- Non-transplant renal patients with comparable immunosuppression.
- Patients with chronic kidney disease (stage 4 or 5) without immunosuppression.

Liver Diseases
- People with cirrhosis (Child-Pugh class A, B, and C), with or without immune suppressive therapy.
- Liver transplant recipients.

Solid Organ Transplant Recipients
- Solid organ transplant recipients not covered in the above categories.

Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Disorders
- People who have received B-cell depleting therapy in the last 12 months.
- Those treated with certain medications or exhibiting specific criteria.

Respiratory
- Asthma patients on oral corticosteroids.
- COPD patients on long-term home NIV or oxygen therapy.
- Patients with interstitial lung disease or lung cancer.
- Individuals with pulmonary hypertension (PH).

Immune Deficiencies
- Various primary and secondary immunodeficiencies.

HIV/AIDS
- People with high levels of immune suppression or untreated HIV.

Neurological Disorders
- Conditions associated with neuromuscular respiratory failure.
- Conditions requiring specific immunotherapies.
- Dementia, neurodegenerative, and neuroimmune disorders with severe frailty.

Risk Factors for Severe COVID-19 in Young People (12-17 Years)
- Specific risk factors and pathways for PCR positive cases in this age group.

Children and Young People (CYP) at Substantial Risk
- Those with complex life-limiting neuro disability or multiple risk factors.

Other Conditions
- Various conditions, including high BMI, severe respiratory disease, tracheostomy, severe asthma, neuro disability, severe cardiac/kidney/liver disease, sickle cell disease, trisomy 21, and more.

Please note that the provided information is a general summary, and the original document should be referred to for complete details and accuracy. 

When should I test?

The tests are for use by the individual who suffers from one of the eligible conditions and should be used if symptomatic for COVID, even if it is mild.  Individuals who live in the same house are encouraged to purchase their own tests as they are not included in the scope of this NHS-funded service.

What is in the kit?

Each COVID test kit contains 5 lateral flow devices, 5 swabs and the required buffer solutions. 

Why test?

The patients targetted by the service are potentially eligible for treatment for their active COVID infection using NICE-approved therapies.  These treatments can be issued after a positive test and a consultation with a GP, NHS 111 or hospital consultant. 

Other important information

1) The tests help identify people who are positive for COVID-19

2) A negative result does not guarantee someone doesn’t have COVID-19. It is important to continue following all applicable Government guidelines and restrictions.

3) Instructions on how to use the test are inside the box.