From diagnosis to disposal: expanded COVID-19 test programmes available now

We have immediate availability of CE-marked COVID-19 finger-prick tests to be used as part of our programme for professional use. We are now working with more than 70 companies in the UK who have taken early responsibility for the safety of their staff and customers who are undertaking regular testing to get their staff back to work or keep them in the workplace, safely.

Express Medicals Ltd is one of the UK’s leading occupational health providers, with 23 years’ experience working across a range of industry sectors. We conduct thousands of reliable and trusted drug and alcohol tests across the UK every year in addition to our wide range of other health services, conducted at client sites and through our nationwide network of 15 clinics.

We have taken great care in sourcing these kits, with our laboratory partner. The kits are CE marked and sanctioned by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for sale for professional use. Our lab partner has visited the kit production site and their audit process has graded both the production facility and the production process as ‘excellent’ throughout.

The kits are one part of Express Medicals’ COVID-19 testing programme, which also includes a comprehensive online, certified, course and full clinical support for interpretation and advice on the results you record. We are now finalising support from one of the UK’s foremost medical waste disposal companies for clients who want an end-to-end service for disposal of tests.

Clients have reported back to us that the kits are easy to use and understand, thanks to the training materials and our additional clinical support. Before using the kits, a designated member of your staff will be asked to complete and pass a short online training course, developed in conjunction with researchers from Imperial College. This will ensure you know how to administer and interpret the tests correctly. We have also developed extensive information sheets on how to interpret your results, written with expert help from our scientific advisor, working as a researcher at Imperial College. At all times, customers buying these kits are supported with help and advice available from our in-house clinicians who are able to offer telephone and Zoom conferencing support on use of the kits and interpretation of the results. All our information is updated regularly as new evidence and findings become available. There are no absolutes in this current situation: we’re working hard to ensure you have the best possible information at all times.

We have already established a good supply chain with many of our existing clients, supporting the UK’s infrastructure, many of whom are now reordering products to ensure regular staff testing. We are now able to offer kits to a wider customer base.

At Express Medicals, we know and understand that there have been unclear messages about the types of testing now on offer.

We’ve put together this Q&A briefing to answer some queries we’ve already received.

For more information, orders or advice ring us today on 0207 500 6900.

COVID-19 test kit Q&A

It is important that you make decisions for your workforce based on best available evidence.

I’ve read /heard press coverage that says that the sale of COVID-19 antibody kits is illegal?

It is really important to differentiate between kits that are being sold for use at home [home testing kits] and those that are sold for professional use.

Those sold for home use are illegal.

Those sold for professional use are legal.

Please be reassured that the kits supplied by Express Medicals Ltd are for professional use and are legal.

We have produced this easy table to help you explain this to others

Requirement Express Medicals kits Kits sold to home users
Do the kits have a valid CE marking? Yes No, there are no home use kits with valid CE markings.
Are the kits MHRA approved for use? Yes, for professional use No
Are the kits legal for sale in the UK Yes, for professional use No
Are the kits legal for home use? No No

Who has approved the kits that you supply?

The kits come with a CE mark.

The MHRA has supplied our laboratory partner with a letter, dated March 28, 2020 authorising the products for sale, legally, in the UK.

Express Medicals Ltd has been established for 23 years, providing drug and alcohol testing and a range of occupational health services to some of the UK’s biggest rail, construction and associated industries. We have taken all possible care in sourcing these kits for our clients.

Who can use the kits you are supplying?

Before you can use the kits, a designated member of your staff must complete and pass a short, certified online training course. This is in place so that you understand how to correctly administer the test. We also keep a record of people who have passed this course as an audit trail for our records. The person who completes the course must administer the tests. Our clinical staff are available to your designated member of staff to help with any further queries or clarification.

Once I receive the tests, can I send them to individual employees to test themselves?

No. Administering the tests and reading the results should only be done by the person who has completed and passed the online course.

When I order, what will I receive?

We are despatching orders, daily, now. Kits are packed in boxes of 30 units which contain the equipment you will need to administer the tests. It will look like this. You will also receive a short instruction sheet and a six-page document called COVID-19 antibody results interpretation. It is vital you read all the information you receive.

I have received my first order. Can I place additional orders?

Yes. You are welcome to reorder kits. We will issue proforma invoices for each order which must be prepaid before we despatch the kits. Please contact your account manager or email us at workhealth@expressmedicals.co.uk.

How accurate are the Express Medicals test kits?

No test is 100% accurate. It is vital that you complete and pass the online training programme and read the instructions enclosed with your order.

Validation studies reported an accuracy of the test kits as:

98.7% overall agreement with laboratory-based analysis when detecting IgG.

97.7% overall agreement with laboratory-based analysis when detecting IgM

What do the test results tell you?

The presence of these antibodies help identify subjects who are, or have suffered from, COVID-19 infection. This is determined by the presence or absence of IgG and IgM in the following manner:

  1. IgM will test positive 5 to 7 days following the start of clinical symptoms in the subject.
  2. IgG will test positive 10 to 14 days following the start of clinical symptoms in the subject.
  3. IgM will decrease after 2 weeks from initial infection; IgG remains detectable for at least one month [and possibly longer] after IgM is no longer detectable.

The presence of IgG and absence of IgM in a test result is particularly useful to an employer. This combination shows* an employee has had the COVID-19 infection but has recovered with some immunity to further COVID-19 infection. Providing the subject has completed any necessary self-isolation they can return to work without risk of infection or infecting other workers.

*within a margin of analytical error the test identifies employees who are statistically likely to have been infected by the virus.

Why are the NHS/PHE not using these tests yet?

We have made ourselves visible on NHS/PHE procurement pathways. We have received an automated response telling us that both bodies are currently assessing a range of options. If and when the NHS requires stocks of these kits, their supply will become a priority.

We hope this information has helped you to make the best possible decisions for your members of staff. Our team is on hand to answer any questions via workhealth@expressmedicals.co.uk

Dr Dan Hegarty

CEO

Express Medicals Ltd

Important Disclaimer: We do not accept any responsibility for those who misuse this information or for any diagnosis made or action taken as a result of reading the information. The reader assumes sole responsibility for decisions made using these results. Although we have made our best effort to ensure the information in the attached leaflets is accurate, we are not liable for any incorrect information, errors or incorrect results.