- A negative PCR antigen test may be required for a number of reasons, including overseas travel or returning to work.
- We can provide a PCR Test result within 48 hours, for any age.
- We are able to offer signed certificates including a Fit to Fly, Fit to Work or other reasons.
- The test is approved by the NHS and the National Institute for Health Protection (formerly Public Health England).
- The PCR test can be performed 3 days after COVID-19 symptoms have started or on those not showing any symptoms.
What is a PCR test?
The PCR test can detect whether or not you currently have COVID-19. Swab samples will be taken from your nose and throat. These will then be analysed in the lab using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR), this detects the presence of a genetic material in the virus called RNA.
The PCR test only tells us if the virus is currently present in the body. If you would like to see if you have had COVID-19 in the past and have developed the antibodies, we can also perform the Abbott’s Antibody Test at Chase Lodge Hospital.
How are the samples collected?
- Samples are collected by our clinicians who have had specialist training in COVID testing.
- All our clinicians are in full PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and will see you either in one of our isolation pods within the hospital or in your own car in our private marquee.
- The clinician will take a swab from your nose and another from your throat.
- These will then be sent to the lab to be analysed.
- You will receive the results through a secure email, within 48 hours of the laboratory receiving the sample.
Our compassionate staff at Chase Lodge Hospital will support you through every step of the process.
Signs and Symptoms
The majority of people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate symptoms. The most common symptoms are:
- High temperature or fever
- New continuous cough
- Change in your sense of smell or taste
There are also less common symptoms including:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Most people with mild symptoms recover without needing specialist treatment. However, they are still infectious and still able to spread the disease. A relatively small proportion of people may develop more serious symptoms and become critically ill. This is particularly prevalent in those over 70 or with underlying health conditions.
If you’re worried about your symptoms or unable to cope with them at home, please use the NHS 111 Coronavirus Service.
How accurate is the PCR test?
The PCR test has a 100% Specificity and 98% Sensitivity, when the swab sample is taken by a trained clinician.
There are some limitations to the PCR test. For instance, samples from patients with very low levels of the virus can show a negative result. If you are showing symptoms of COVD-19 or one of our clinicians may think you have the virus but the sample is negative, the swab test may need to be repeated.
Please read the FAQs on PCR tests here.
If you are showing signs or symptoms of the COVID-19 virus please ensure that you and your household isolate according to government guidelines. Please get in touch with us on 020 8358 7100 and we can advise you further.
If you have any concerns
As per the current Government and NHS advice, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
- You feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- Your condition gets worse
- Your symptoms do not get better after 7 days