Throat & nasal swabs for current infection status:
At the end of 2020 there was a rather ridiculous change in the law, making it much harder for private providers to carry out Covid testing. Any medical professional taking swabs from patients had to become UKAS accredited (a bit like a CE or 'Kite mark') despite the fact that our Doctors and Nurses have had years of training and experience in doing these and, moreover, despite the fact that the labs we use were already UKAS accredited and linked in to 'Track and Trace'.
What makes this more ludicrous, is that if we give patients kits for them to self-test it is fine and we are legal to do this.
So... whilst we cannot legally do your swabs for you... we are able to offer self-test swabs and we have teamed-up with our partners at Better2Know , The Doctors' Laboratory and CHB Medical in order to offer reliable throat swabs for people with ACTIVE Covid symptoms or those needing pre-op tests.
We don't offer PCR testing for TRAVEL but we can offer LFT certificates for check-in (see below).
With their expertise in home testing kits (yes... usually for STIs !) Better2Know and the Doctors Lab now have excellent kits, fully inclusive of instructions, swab and pre-paid postage bags. Self-test packs from Better2Know are available with a £5 discount when entering the code "SPAPM5" on their website.
The advertised turnaround time is 24hrs (from arrival at the lab - so factor in at least a day for postage ) but B2K also offer a 'premium service' which is processed within 24hrs of arrival at the lab. Patients are able to collect sample boxes from the surgery in order to speed the process up and, if willing to organise a courier (at patient's cost) then in theory a test could be taken and processed within 24hrs.
For symptomatic patients, we ask that a parent, carer or relative of the person to be tested attends to collect their kit, but remains outside. For safety, the kit will be taken outside in a box, for the patient's representative to collect, having already given the patient's details (name, date of birth, address and telephone number) over the phone to our admin staff.
Results are obtained by checking the unique PIN on each test on the Better2Know website. The results can be downloaded and printed, if needed. Any positive tests are automatically reported to Public Health England and entered in to the 'Track and Trace' system.
It is the individual's responsibility to ensure that correct details are given when purchasing the test and also to ensure that the test is carried-out correctly.
Anyone with severe symptoms must call 111 (or 999 if seriously ill) and NOT wait to receive results from one of these tests.
Lateral Flow Tests For Travel and urgent testing: we are now able to offer an 'instant' type nasal swab called Healgen, offered by CHB Medical. This test is not quite as sensitive as the full PCR test (above) but has been fully validated and Public Health England approved (see this link for further information). The cost will be £30.
We will issue a certificate, including the patient's details and the test batch number, but it is up to the individual to ascertain whether this type of test and certificate will be acceptable to airlines etc for travel. Some companies are specifying a PCR test, but with the longer turnaround time, patients must work out the time delays carefully, as Spa Private Medical will not be held responsible for lost travel, in cases where results are delayed.
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.
Blood tests for Covid-19 Antibodies:
The London-based lab that we regularly use for all our blood and pathology requests offers Covid-19 antibody testing (the Abbot test). This offers a much more reliable test for IgG than finger-prick testing (they do not test for the early IgM, as this has proven to be even more variable) and they will give a simple 'Positive" or "Negative" result.
The lab say that testing can be carried out anything from 2 weeks after any Covid-like symptoms have occurred, but our suggestion is that you wait a full 4 weeks, in order to get the best chance of showing antibodies.
We stress that this is a "for interest only" test - showing only if you have previously had Covid-19... and it is in no way meant to help predict whether one is 'immune' to further Covid infections, as the science on this point is still very unclear.
The cost of the test is £90 and a blood sample (not finger prick) is required. Results will be emailed back to us in 2-4 days. For further information, please see