St Helens residents offered assisted Covid-19 testing by local pharmacies
Residents in St Helens are to be offered extra help in getting Covid-19 tested with the launch of a new assisted testing scheme in the borough.
The new scheme is being offered by three local pharmacies and will provide important help for people who may be struggling with self-testing at home.
This may because of physically limiting conditions such as arthritis or because someone may not have used a lateral flow testing kit before.
Each of the three participating Lloyds pharmacies at Warrington Road, Rainhill, Robins Lane in Sutton and Duke Street in St Helens will have specially trained staff on site available to provide assisted testing.
They will be able to provide both regular assisted testing for those who need it or provide the guidance for patients to start testing themselves at home.
In addition they will also be able to give further information to patients on vaccination and isolating if they should test positive.
Residents can also collect Covid-19 test kits from many pharmacies in the borough.
Councillor Anthony Burns, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage said: “With infection rates in the borough rising again recently we are keen to make sure that residents in the borough are given every opportunity to test, even if they may have physical or other conditions which may make it difficult for them to test themselves at home.
“For this reason we would encourage residents to take advantage of assisted testing and get tested. It is the best way to keep both yourself protected and others who are close to you by detecting Covid-19 quickly and therefore stopping it spreading to others. Everyone who is having regular contact with people outside their household should be testing twice a week.”
Ruth Du Plessis, Director of Public Health at St Helens Council, said: “If you suffer from arthritis or another condition which may limit your mobility then performing a lateral flow test yourself can be difficult. However assisted testing can help support you to test regularly.
“Likewise if you simply feel unsure about performing the test yourself at home then do take up the service if you can. In addition pharmacy staff on site will also be able to provide you with testing kits to use yourself at home if you need them and information on vaccinations.
“Infection rates have risen significantly in the borough during September so we hope that the introduction of this service will give everyone in the community to test regularly to test regularly and keep themselves and others safe.”
If you want to book an assisted Covid test with any of the participating pharmacies in the borough please contact the individual pharmacy by phone first to make an appointment.
Dr Michael Ejuoneatse, Medical Director for St Helens CCG, added: “This is a great example of partnership working in St Helens. Community pharmacies are a real asset in terms of supporting and advising people with health issues and assisting with Covid-19 testing is a natural extension of this.
“This initiative gives reassurance to those who would struggle to carry out a lateral flow test and enables them to get help getting tested, thereby keeping themselves and others safe.”
For further details on vaccination centres in the borough and drop in appointments and opening times click here: https://bit.ly/3x6MH55