Currently, all NHS staff are eligible for anti-body testing; an antibody test can tell someone whether they have had the virus that causes COVID-19 in the past, by analysing a blood sample.
A positive antibody test demonstrates that someone has developed antibodies to the virus; the presence of antibodies signals that the body has staged an immune response to the virus.
COVID-19 is a new disease, and our understanding of the body’s immune response to it is limited; we do not know, for example, how long an antibody response lasts, nor whether having antibodies means you can’t transmit the virus to others.
Our understanding of the virus will grow as new scientific evidence and studies emerge.
An antibody test result can only tell an individual whether or not they have had the virus in the past; anti-body tests are also being used currently in surveillance studies, to understand what proportion of the population have already had the virus.
Local practice staff (for peer bleeders)
Blood tests can be done at local practices; please check that the consent form has been completed by the member of staff requesting antibody testing and take this from them.
The member of staff having the testing done does not need to be registered as a temporary resident at the practice.
The peer sample taker should write the surname, forename, sex, date of birth, staff members address, date and time of sample taken; the mobile number of the member of staff being tested also needs to be included on the blood form.
Once the member of staff has had their test, the result will be communicated via SMS message to the mobile number provided at the time of the request.