Norfolk coronavirus testing centres for key workers to open

Key workers can now book for coronavirus tests, through their employers. Photo: NCH&C

Key workers can now book for coronavirus tests, through their employers. Photo: NCH&C - Credit: Archant

Health bosses have said that coronavirus testing is now available to key workers, such as teachers or food industry staff, at three locations in Norfolk.

The testing bases, which begin operating Monday, are at the Centrum centre, near the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), the James Paget University Hospital at Gorleston and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at King’s Lynn.

Previously, there was drive-through screening for health workers, including GPs, ambulance staff and community nurse at other locations.The NHS is working in partnership with the Earlham Institute, John Innes Centre, The Sainsbury Laboratory, Quadram Institute Bioscience, the University of East Anglia, Eastern Pathology Alliance and the Cotman Centre.

Employers or line managers are required to begin the booking process via a local email system. This is to confirm the person is eligible, after which they will be able to make their own appointment. Bookings can be made now.

That is an alternative to the national testing offer, which has centres at Ipswich, Stansted, Peterborough and elsewhere.

It is recommended that people book into the local system to be directed to a local test centre. However, the national booking system does also offer a postal home testing service, which some people may prefer.

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Sam Higginson, NNUH chief executive, said: “This new testing scheme for key workers is an important development in the fight against COVID-19 and demonstrates the excellent partnership working between the NHS and scientific organisations on the Norwich Research Park.”

People on the government key workers list should ask their employer or line manager to register by emailing with their (employer) name, job title and contact number.

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The registration team will contact them to register the organisation so the key worker can then book an appointment. The employer will be given a unique reference number and the contact details.

Once an employer or line manager has applied on behalf of a key worker and/or their family, they will be issued a unique reference number and further instructions. All applications will be checked to make sure people are well enough to attend a testing centre, and eligible for a test in line with Public Health England guidance.

People will receive their test results within 48 hours or less, either directly or via their employer’s occupational health service, together with initial advice about to what to do next.

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MORE: Twelve more coronavirus patients die in Norfolk’s hospitals

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