NHS takes first delivery of game-changing 15-minute Covid antigen test

NHS takes first delivery of game-changing 15-minute Covid antigen test

The first batch of rapid antigen tests, produced by SureScreen Diagnostics, have been delivered to the NHS in the West Midlands.

Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group has begun using the tests on patients as part of its Covid strategy.

But it is also hoping that this immediate test will increase confidence for clinicians to see more face-to-face patients, so it can resume some of the procedures such as minor operations.

Indeed, it is so pleased with the results it is encouraging other NHS sites to use the new tests which can be used at the patient's side with results ready to read in 15 minutes.

SureScreen Diagnostics has already exported rapid antibody tests to 53 countries and dependencies across the world, with endorsements and approvals from many leading institutions.

Now it hopes the new antigen tests can play a key role in reducing the spread of infections.

SureScreen’s Director David Campbell said: “We have been working on a rapid antigen test since March, when we first released our Antibody test. It’s a huge technical challenge, but we are pleased to have achieved excellent results in our trials, and we hope these tests will help the fight against COVID-19 going forward.

“We have launched two fast and very easy to use, swab antigen tests. The first one is a visual read test (much like a pregnancy test) which can be used and read without any laboratory equipment, making it perfect for screening in the community. The second test uses a handheld reader, which allows us to increase the sensitivity of the test even further.

“The frequency of testing and fast turnaround times on results are both critical to reducing the spread of infections.

"We believe having easier to use and cost-effective tests available will allow greater access to testing. We hope that the tests can also help industries who have been badly affected by the virus.

“We are delighted that trials of the devices have been successful for key partners and that we will have the tests available for wider use this month."

 

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