Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust pioneers new ‘rapid’ 20 minute coronavirus test
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The first of 4,000 Hampshire residents took part in the trials of the new ‘rapid coronavirus test’ which it is hoped will return conclusive results in just 20 minutes. This big advantage of the test is that it doesn’t have to be sent to a laboratory to be processed.
Hampshire Hospital NHS Trust will trial the test at Accident and Emergency Departments, GP surgeries and selected care homes. Receiving results onsite will provide immediate certainty as to whether people have the virus and need to isolate or are able to return to work.
The pilot, which will run for six weeks, is set to be tested on a wide demographic of ages and backgrounds.
After announcing the pioneering trial, health secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘This new test could provide accurate results almost on the spot. This will enable health and care workers to carry on with their shift or immediately isolate on the same day, and could eventually offer the same benefit to the whole country.
‘This could change the way that we control Covid-19 across the country, getting those with negative results back into society as quickly as possible. I am hugely grateful for everyone in Hampshire for making this innovation possible.’
Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chief executive, Alex Whitfield, added: ‘We are tremendously excited to be able to support the government’s efforts for ever more accessible, faster coronavirus testing.
‘That we are able to do so is a testament to the hard work and ingenuity of our entire microbiology department, from clinical scientists and the laboratory team to volunteers from academia and industry as well as the staff on the wards.
‘We are very much looking forward to the results of this trial and the benefits it will bring to the community we serve.’
The test has already been shown to be highly effective in clinical settings.