We are pleased to be able to offer the Coronavirus Antibody Test. This is a test to look at whether your body has produced antibodies to the Coronavirus and hence whether you might have had this in the past.
Unfortunately this test is not currently available on the NHS but we have made arrangements with an accredited laboratory to be able to offer this test at a reduced price of £50 to patients registered at Cavendish Health Centre (£250 for patients not registered at Cavendish Health Centre).
Please read all the information below before contacting us to arrange a test.
If you have already done so and would like to arrange a test please click here to complete this request form. Alternatively you can contact us using the secure online messaging system.
This test can only be done at least 14 days after you first had symptoms of COVID-19 (or never had symptoms).
If you currently have symptoms (high temperature, new continuous cough, new loss or change to sense of smell or taste) then use the NHS 111 COVID-19 symptom checker. If you have had symptoms within the last 5 days you may be able to get an antigen test.
If you are an essential worker, you may be able to arrange a free NHS test. Please check the gov.uk website for more details and to arrange this.
What is this test?
The test is a fingerprick blood test which detects IgG antibodies to Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). It is the Abbott test which is one of the tests accredited by Public Health England.
What is the difference between an antigen test and an antibody test?
An antigen test will tell you whether you have the virus at the moment. An antibody test will tell you whether you have had the virus in the past. Having antibodies to a particular disease may provide you with some immunity. We don’t yet know whether this is the case with Coronavirus antibodies and if so how long this immunity would last.
At the time of writing (21st May 2020), the NHS are only able to offer free antigen tests to patients with symptoms. We cannot provide this at the practice and you will need to arrange this from the 111 website.
At the time of writing, the NHS are not currently offering antibody tests, although it sounds like these will be made available to frontline key workers soon. Check the gov.uk website for up to date information.
How do I arrange this?
If you would like to arrange a test, please make sure that you have read all the information on the webpage and then click here to complete this request form. Alternatively you can contact us using the secure online messaging system.
We will then contact you to take payment and prepare a test kit for you to pick up from reception. You will receive a text message when the kit is ready to collect.
You will need to do the kit at home and then send the sample in the freepost envelope to the laboratory.
How do I do the test?
The test is a fingerprick blood test. There are clear instructions with the kit but essentially you will need to obtain a small amount of blood to send to the laboratory in the sample bottle and send it back in the freepost envelope. The fingerprick blood test is similar to how many diabetic patients check their blood sugar levels.
Can do the fingerprick blood test for me at the practice?
Unfortunately we are unable to offer this service. Most people are able to do this test themselves. If you are unable to, you will need to get a friend or relative to help you.
How long do I need to wait?
Once you have returned the sample, we would anticipate receiving the results at the practice within a few working days.
How do I get the results?
You will receive a text message from the practice.
How reliable is the test?
The test has a specificity of 100% and a sensitivity of 97.5%. This means that if it is positive, it is highly likely that you have the antibodies to Coronavirus. Having antibodies to a particular disease may provide you with some immunity. We don’t yet know whether this is the case with Coronavirus antibodies and if so how long this immunity would last.
In addition, we do not know what proportion of people who have had Coronavirus will develop antibodies. If your test is negative, you may still have had Coronavirus in the past.
The fingerprick test kit is provided by The Doctors Laboratory and these samples have been verified by The Doctors Laboratory as performing within the same performance criteria as those taken from blood samples from veins (like regular blood tests). The fingerprick test has been submitted to UKAS for accreditation.
I have symptoms now or recently. Can I have the test?
No. You need to wait until at least 14 days after your symptoms first started before you can have the test. If you still have symptoms you also need to continue to self isolate in line with government guidance and should not request a test from us until your symptoms have settled.
You may be able to arrange an antigen test on the 111 website.
I am an essential worker. Can I have the test for free on the NHS?
Please check the gov.uk website for up to date information and also on how to arrange this.
We do not currently have access to the free NHS testing at the practice but you can apply for the private antibody test if you wish.
I am currently shielding or socially distancing. If my test is positive can I stop doing this?
No! We still do not know whether having antibodies makes you immune to Coronavirus and if it does, how long this immunity lasts.
Even if you have a positive test, please continue to be careful to avoid catching Coronavirus. Many people have mild symptoms but some people can become very unwell with this so we want you to continue to be careful.
Can I arrange this test for my child?
No, we are currently only offering the testing to over 18s.
If you would like to arrange a test please click here to complete this request form. Alternatively you can contact us using the secure online messaging system.