As a leading national live-in care and nursing provider, Consultus Care and Nursing, is plugging the Coronavirus testing gap in social care left by the UK Government to help safeguard its clients and carers alike.

Currently, asymptomatic British carers who specialise in the growing market for 24/7 live care in clients’ own homes, as well as carers with an overseas address, are unable to access Government testing programmes. In response, Consultus Care and Nursing has taken the proactive and innovative step to initiate its own Covid-19 saliva PCR safety net testing scheme.

Preliminary studies have shown that PCR testing through saliva samples can be just as sensitive as swabs in lab validation and even more sensitive for SARS-CoV-2 detection in practice. Being less invasive and easier to self-administer correctly will also help to ensure improved results accuracy. This follows findings from experts, such as Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist at Warwick University, that around a third of the current PCR swabs test taken in the UK may be yielding false negatives as they have not been administered correctly.

Provided by Everything Genetic, the PCR saliva test Consultus is using is CE marked and results are performed in an ISO 15189 UK laboratory that is approved to share information with Public Health England as part of the UK’s Test and Trace scheme.

Consultus Care and Nursing is able to safely distribute the PCR saliva tests to all carers who do not qualify for access to Government testing. No specialist equipment or health care professional is required to manage the test, allowing the user to post the test directly back to Everything Genetic’s laboratory for analysis. The results are available to access through Everything Genetic’s secure easy-to-access online portal within 1-2 days and emailed to Consultus Care and Nursing’s head office. The quick turn-around time ensures carers are able to begin their live-in care placements quickly and safely – crucial to relieving live-in carers who have been isolating throughout the entire lockdown with clients.

In addition to the PCR saliva Coronavirus test, Consultus Care and Nursing is also deploying the COVID-19 instant antibody test provided by Everything Genetic Ltd as a way of further screening carers and continuing to safeguard clients. This test usefully detects both the IgM antibody which usually manifests very soon after C-19 infection, and the IgG antibody which usually manifests 10 – 14 days after infection. Administered by one of our internal healthcare professional nurses, a small finger prick blood sample, yields results within 20 minutes.  Unlike previous finger prick tests this particular test is not a home test and has been approved by MHRA (The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) which is accepted by healthcare professionals.  We have also purchased the Abbott Laboratories antibody test for IgG antibodies which is analysed from blood collected intravenously, also via healthcare professionals.  

With this multifaceted and unique initiative (to our knowledge) of funding and underwriting our own testing programme, we and our clients and our carers can be confident that whilst no COVID-19 test is guaranteed we are doing everything we can to keep everyone safe in these “uncertain times”.

 Peter Seldon, CEO, Consultus Care and Nursing comments:“It is our duty to ensure that all of our carers and clients continue to remain safe. We have a zero rate of cross infection of COVID-19 between our carers and our clients to date, and we’re determined to ensure this record is maintained as we look to bring carers out of their current placements, some of whom have been isolating with clients since March, and deploy other carers into new placements. With this additional step of deploying our own underwriting testing programme, we, our clients and our carers can be confident that every precaution has been taken to keep everyone safe during these uncertain times.”

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