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Rapid Testing

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, B&M Care has been met with unprecedented challenges, but difficult circumstances have led to pockets of excellence across all areas of the business.

In addition to the group’s Covid-19 vaccination rollout, B&M Care is now using LFD (Lateral Flow Device) test kits to add yet another layer of protection to our 26 care home portfolio.

Used in conjunction with the gold standard in testing – the PCR swab test – staff are now being tested twice weekly using rapid testing.

Detecting “over 95% of individuals with high viral loads” [NHS website: January 2021], the decision to use rapid testing across B&M Care reflects a national drive for regular mass testing of asymptomatic, patient-and resident-facing staff, such as those who work in a hospital or social care setting.

A rapid test consists of gently swabbing each nostril, placing the swab into an extraction tube to mix with an extraction buffer solution, before squeezing two drops onto the specimen well of a rapid test strip. The test strip is then left for 30 minutes before results can be read.

Each test strip has two possible areas where lines might appear – they are the ‘C’ (control) area and the ‘T’ (test) area. A positive result will read when one line appears next to both the ‘C’ and ‘T’ areas. A negative result will be indicated by a single line next to the ‘C’, but not the ‘T’. If a line appears next to the ‘T’ and not the ‘C’, the test has failed and should be retaken.

The test device and equipment can be carefully disposed of in normal household rubbish.

All staff have been trained to correctly use these rapid test kits.

All infection control protocols remain in place, including PPE, social distancing, and routine cleaning.