Boots provides support in COVID-19 testing for NHS staff

Boots UK has been supporting the Government’s drive to provide coronavirus tests for NHS staff, with Boots Opticians employees among some of the first volunteers

Pixabay/ Adriano Gadini
Boots UK is supporting the Government to establish and resource new ‘drive-through’ testing stations that provide coronavirus (COVID-19) tests for frontline NHS staff.

The Government announced a new drive to scale up testing for frontline workers, initially starting with tests for frontline NHS staff, on Friday (27 March). The new service will be free and will help to reduce uncertainty over whether NHS staff should self-isolate at home, enabling staff who test negative for COVID-19 to continue to work.

Amazon and Royal Mail are helping with logistics, while Boots UK has been supplying volunteer healthcare clinicians as testers. Trials have already been taking place at Boots’ head office site in Nottingham.

Sebastian James, managing director for Boots UK and Republic of Ireland, said: “I am extremely proud that Boots is supporting COVID-19 testing for NHS workers.”

He added: “We will work with the NHS to recruit trained professionals – both Boots colleagues and from the wider community.”

In a statement, Boots UK confirmed that some of the first volunteers involved were its Boots Opticians colleagues.

Testing will be specifically for NHS staff by invitation only. Locations are being defined but will not be based in Boots stores, meaning staff can continue to focus on customer and patient care.

Boots franchisee and AOP Council member, Jonathan Bennett, told OT: “I think the drive-through testing centres for NHS staff is brilliant, and getting the opticians involved is fantastic. I feel Boots is using its workforce of opticians constructively.”

He added that amidst the uncertainty surrounding the outbreak: “I feel Boots has really stepped up, it’s exceeded my expectations.”

OT endeavours to keep the most up-to-date news on our website and this information was correct when published. However, the situation regarding COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. Please check OT’s rolling optics-specific coverage for the latest news and guidance on COVID-19.