Boots is launching a drive-through COVID-19 testing service for NHS workers in Nottinghamshire.
On Monday, Boots announced the free testing service, which will initially be offered to NHS staff who are self-isolating or suspect they may have COVID-19. Healthcare clinicians and students are among those in line to carry out the tests, in addition to some volunteer Boots optician staff. However, the company has said they will work with the NHS to recruit trained professionals to carry out the tests in the future.
"I am extremely proud that Boots is supporting COVID-19 testing for NHS workers. Boots has been at the heart of UK healthcare for 171 years and has always come forward to support the community in times of need. We will work with the NHS to recruit trained professionals – both Boots colleagues and from the wider community," said Sebastian James, managing director of Boots UK and ROI, in a statement on Gov.UK. "I am sure there will be many trained healthcare clinicians and students, who will step forward to support our dedicated NHS colleagues. Locations are being defined but will be spread across the UK; they will not however be in Boots stores, allowing our colleagues to focus on supporting our customers and patients."
News of the new Boots testing centre comes after further pressures have been placed on the government to make sure those working in frontline services are getting the proper testing they require. "Healthcare staff are key in our fight against the virus, and I want to ensure that any frontline NHS or care worker who has symptoms of coronavirus or who has a family member with symptoms can be tested quickly and reliably", said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Boots hopes to launch tests sites at other locations across the UK in the coming weeks and months.