New testing requirements FAQ’s

Do I have to be tested to be able to visit my relative or friend? 

Yes, lateral flow tests are now mandatory, and a negative result must be shown in order to visit your friend or relative. 

Testing is important to help us to identify people who might be carrying coronavirus but not showing symptoms. Testing may not identify everyone that is currently infectious, but alongside wearing PPE and following other infection prevention and control measures, testing helps us to keep your loved ones safe. 

 

Do I need to take a test prior to every visit? 

Yes, you must take a test each day you visit. 

 

What about if I visit more than once a day? 

You will be asked to test once before your first visit of the day. You will not need to test before every visit you make in one day.  

 

How do I order lateral flow test kits? 

You can order tests online at www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests or collect from your local pharmacy. You can also order over the phone be calling 119. Lines are open 7am to 11pm and calls are free. 

 

Do I have to pay for lateral flow tests? 

No, lateral flow test kits are free. 

 

What does the result mean? 

The result will affect whether you can visit in the following ways: 

  • Positive – you will not be able to visit except in exceptional circumstances, such as your loved one is in the last days of life. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis by our staff. If you do test positive, then you and anyone you live with must self-isolate immediately, preventing further transmission of the virus. You should also get a PCR test to confirm your result as soon as possible. Book your PCR test online at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test 
  • Invalid – Take another test. If the retest is invalid then book a PCR test using the link above.  
  • Negative – Your visit will be able to go ahead, if you comply with all other infection control measures. It is possible that you may still have COVID-19, so we will need to make sure you continue to social distance, wear a face mask and use hand sanitiser. 

All results, positive or negative, must be logged online at https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result or by calling the phone number included in your testing kit instructions.  

 

Will I be expected to take a test if my friend or relative is imminently dying? 

Visits in exceptional circumstances such as the very end of life will always be supported. Ashgate staff will work with you to plan end of life visiting carefully, to ensure visiting happens throughout the patient’s stay. 

If the person is considered to be in the last week of their life then the medical staff will complete a Recognising Dying Form, allowing the partner, children and parents of that patient to visit.  

 

I’ve been fully vaccinated; do I still need to take a test? 

Yes. NHS advice currently states that you should continue to behave in exactly the same way once you have had your vaccine as you did before you had it. This is because there is a chance you might still get or spread coronavirus even if you have the vaccine. 

 

I don’t have any COVID symptoms; do I still need to take a test? 

Yes. Around 1 in 3 people with COVID do not have symptoms, so a test that rapidly detects these otherwise hidden cases is a very useful additional tool for tackling the virus.  

 

Are there any exclusions to taking the test? 

Visitor testing is now mandatory in order to visit a friend or relative at Ashgate Hospicecare. 

However, the following exclusions apply: 

  • Children under the age of 16. 
  • Children already using twice weekly tests as part of their school LFD testing programme may provide evidence of their negative tests prior to visiting Ashgate Hospice. 
  • Those who have had a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 (by PCR test) within the previous 90 days are exempt from taking a test.  Proof of the confirmed diagnosis, including the date, must be shown. 

Those included within these exclusions will still be expected to comply with all other infection prevention and control procedures.  

 

Does the introduction of lateral flow tests mean that my relative or friend can receive an increased number of visitors? 

No, patients will continue to receive two named visitors only for the duration of their stay with Ashgate. We are unable to allow more named visitors than this as the risk of transmission increases significantly, for our patients, their visitors and for our own staff and volunteers. 

However, if the patient has a dependent child, then they will also be permitted to visit. They will be asked to enter and leave the hospice via patio doors directly into their parent’s bedroom to reduce the risk of infection. 

If the person you are visiting is considered to be in the last week of their life, then the medical staff will complete a Recognising Dying Form, allowing for the partner, children and parents of that patient to visit.  

However, if the patient wishes to name four alternative individuals to visit to those above then their wishes would be respected.  

The hospice remains open for visitors 24 hours a day. 

 

I thought COVID infections were going down, as has been reported in the news? Why do I have to take a test? 

COVID is still a very dangerous disease, especially to our patients who are at higher risk of complications. This is because their diagnoses and treatments can leave their immune systems weakened.  

The immune system protects the body against illness and infection caused by viruses like COVID