Statement on the temporary suspension of the council's lateral flow test Community Collect scheme

Published

Councillor Stuart Carroll, cabinet member for adult social care, children's services and health and mental health, said: "During the Christmas period, we experienced unprecedented demand for our lateral flow test (LFT) home test kits, as local pharmacies and GPs supplies were low due to the widespread prevalence of the Omicron variant. We distributed some 5,500 kits in this time.

"With our stocks of home use LFT kits now depleted, we’ve sadly had to temporarily suspend our Community Collect scheme at our leisure centres while we await delivery confirmation of our next order. 

"Our LFT Assisted Testing site at Braywick Leisure Centre does however remain open as normal for all our residents, as we have a large supply of these tests. Details of this are on our website. We cannot hand out assisted testing LFTs for home use as they’re not designed for this purpose. However, care home, education, and NHS professionals can use assisted LFT kits at home, so we’re working with our partners to enable this and to minimise any disruption. 

"Supply issues for home use LFTs is being felt nationally. Please be assured the council is working tirelessly to resolve the supply situation with central government, and we’re also directly coordinating with the UK Health Security Agency. We’re ready to receive additional stocks during weekends and outside normal working hours. In the meantime, we’re doing all we can to secure the speedy delivery of our next batch of home use LFTs.

"It’s good to see people taking responsibility to test, to be safe, and to stop the virus spreading, which is the main reason for this increased demand in home kits. It’s critical everyone continues to follow the guidance particularly if you have Covid symptoms."