Getting testing for COVID-19

Visit the Essex County Council website to find out who, how and where to get tested for COVID-19 in Essex.

Antibody testing

The COVID-19 antibody test is now open for registrations for all staff at West Essex CCG.

To book a test you will need to register via the link below. Appointments will be available from 13 July 2020 and tests will be carried out at St Margaret’s Hospital in Epping. You will need to register using your personal email address and not your nhs.net email and results will be emailed directly to you.

You do not have to take the test and you do not have to inform the CCG if you choose to have the test or not.

 About the antibody test

The antibody test will confirm whether you have had the virus, but if antibodies are detected it’s important to remember that you are still required to observe all national guidance as there is no clear evidence that you will be immune from either catching the virus again, or from passing it on. The testing is part of a national research project and will give Public Health England a better understanding of how many people across the country have already had the virus.

Test results will show one of three possible outcomes:

  • POSITIVE – This means you have had an immune response to the virus. Scientific understanding of the virus is still at an early stage. Therefore, a positive antibody test does not necessarily mean that you cannot be infected again. You should continue to follow guidance on social distancing and PPE if appropriate to your work. If you develop symptoms you must follow guidance on self-isolation and testing.
  • NEGATIVE – This means you have not had an immune response to the virus and do not have antibodies to COVID-19.
  • INVALID – This means there was a problem with the sample. Please register for a repeat test.

How to book a test

  • Visit the Shift Partner web app.
  • Create an account using a personal email address (not your NHS one)
  • Simply book a test

The web app is likely to be receiving high levels of traffic during the first few days of operation so please refresh the page if you aren’t able to access it straight away. If all the slots have been booked up and there are none available, you will need to check back the following day when more appointment slots will have been released.

You’ll receive email confirmation of your booking and the time and date you should go to the test centre.

Location of the testing centre

The test – a blood test – will be carried out in the Epping Forest Unit at St. Margaret’s Hospital, Epping, where there is free parking. Make sure you take a face mask and ID badge with you.

Your result

Your result will take up to five days and be emailed directly to you. It will not be put on your employment or medical record.

Rules for testing

To ensure results are correct and that testing can be provided to all who would like it:

  • Please do not request an antibody test if you have had one elsewhere in the last two weeks.
  • Please do not request a test if you have had a positive COVID-19 PCR swab result in the last 28 days as this may return an incorrect result.
  • Please do not go to phlebotomy centres for testing unless you have confirmation of a booking and your ID badge as the phlebotomists will not be able to take your sample.

Some frequently asked questions about antibody testing can be found here

If you need further help or have difficulty with the booking system, please email West Essex antibody support