Coronavirus testing capacity at Western Isles Hospital

The Western Isles now has the capacity to test up to 64 people per day with the news that testing for coronavirus is now in place at the Western Isles Hospital laboratory in Stornoway.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 11:19 am

This means that the test results will be available after a few hours instead of upwards of one day when tests had to be sent to the mainland.

During the next couple of days, sampling packs will also be distributed to the Uists and to Barra, rolling out access to the testing service across the islands.

Hospital clinicians will be able to offer testing to patients being admitted to a Western Isles hospital for any reason.

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Ps and community physicians will be able to offer testing to people they see in primary care with symptoms of COVID-19 infection, so that the local health authority can gain a clearer understanding of the local spread of the virus.

Other categories of patients will be offered testing as per current national guidance:

Individuals requiring hospital admission;

Clinical or radiological evidence of pneumonia or Acute respiratory distress syndrome;

Influenza like illness and acute respiratory symptoms, such as persistent cough, hoarseness, nasal discharge or congestion, shortness of breath, sore throat, wheezing, sneezing.

Any patient in hospital with new respiratory symptoms, fever or worsening of a pre-existing respiratory condition.

Any symptomatic resident or staff member in a care home for whom testing is considered appropriate.

Symptomatic key health, social care or Category 1 workers, or symptomatic household members of such workers where a negative test would allow an earlier return to work from self-isolation.

People being admitted to care homes from home, hospital or other location.

NHS Western Isles Chief Executive, Gordon Jamieson said: “Being able to test for COVID-19 here in the Western Isles marks a very welcome step forward for us. Local testing with a shorter timeframe for the results will allow us to manage patient demand better, and to inform patients and their families of results sooner than before.”