COVID-19 screening programme

What is the University of Leicester screening programme?

The University of Leicester has launched a programme to screen staff and students for COVID-19 regularly, as part of a drive to keep our staff, students and community safe. 

How is it different to the NHS testing programme?

This screening programme is different to the NHS-run testing programme – the University is screening staff and students who do not have any COVID-19 symptoms and are feeling well. 

By doing this, we are seeking to detect the presence of the virus in people without symptoms, and so prevent its spread. The University is one of the first in the UK to run the programme and has robust processes in place to manage cases of COVID-19.

How do I get screened?

Screening will take place in the Adrian Building on main campus through a pre-booked appointment system (please see instructions for filling in the form in the 'How do I book an appointment?' FAQ below), where you will be asked to provide a swab sample to be tested for the presence of COVID-19.

Appointments are available to staff and students who are registered as a temporary or permanent patient with Victoria Park Health Centre (VPHC). If you're not registered with VPHC, please register using appropriate link below:

Register with VPHC as a temporary patient - staff only

  • Use this option if you are already registered with a GP practice elsewhere and wish to remain with your usual GP.
  • When you register with VPHC, please ensure your name and date of birth are written as they appear on your passport or other official documents.
  • Please wait for the SMS confirming your registration with VPHC before booking your screening appointment.

Register with VPHC as a usual patient - staff and students

  • This will register you as a regular patient with VPHC. We recommend choosing this option if you are a new student to the area, a returning student who has not registered with a local GP, or a member of staff who would like to use VPHC as their regular GP practice.
  • When you register with VPHC, please ensure your name and date of birth are written as they appear on your passport or other official documents.
  • Please wait for the SMS confirming your registration with VPHC before booking your screening appointment.

Instructions for sample collection

What happens if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, we are asking staff and students to ISOLATE – REPORT – TEST.

You will need to get tested through the NHS, either at a test site near you today, or with a home test kit. See how to get a COVID-19 test.

Coronavirus symptoms are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

Please do not go on to campus and see our guidance for what to do if you have symptoms.

Where can I find more information?

Please see our FAQs or email covid19help@le.ac.uk for further information

Why are you running a screening programme?

The University of Leicester has launched a programme to screen staff and students for COVID-19 regularly, as part of the University of Leicester’s drive to keep our staff, students and community safe.

Our priority is to protect our staff, student and community from the risk of COVID-19 infection. 

The programme will look to detect the presence of the virus in people without symptoms, and so prevent its spread. The University is one of the first in the UK to run the scheme.

This is unrelated to the national testing programme for all people with symptoms of COVID-19. This programme is currently only open to staff and students of the University of Leicester.

By proactively identifying cases, we can help to prevent the spread of infection. The University has robust processes in place to manage cases of COVID-19.

What is the difference between screening and testing?

This screening programme is different to the NHS run testing programme – the University is screening staff and students who do not have any COVID-19 symptoms and are feeling well. 

It is designed to look for cases of infection in people who don't yet have symptoms. 

Testing is used to confirm cases in people who are already thought to have the disease or infection. 

We're looking for cases in people who don't yet have symptoms to try to prevent people passing the virus on without knowing they have it.

Do I have to be screened?

Participation in the screening programme is not compulsory, but the University is encouraging all staff and students to take part to help make the initiative more effective.

Who will administer the screening?

You will be performing the test yourself, but there will be a team of trained staff supervising at the centre who will be present to answer any questions you may have on the day.

What does the screening process involve?

The screening process involves taking a test to swab the inside of your nose and back of your throat, using a long cotton bud in a cubicle. You will perform the test yourself, but all materials to conduct the test will be provided by staff at the Adrian Building.

Is it painful?

You may experience some mild discomfort, but it should not hurt.

Do I need to wear a mask?

Yes, you will need a mask when you enter the Adrian Building, however you will need to remove it in the cubicle whilst conducting the test.

How long does the process last?

It should not take more than 15 minutes in total. Most people take around 5-10 minutes.

How do I book, cancel or reschedule an appointment?

Screening will take place in the Adrian Building on main campus through a pre-booked appointment system where you can provide a swab sample to be tested for COVID-19.

Guidance for using the booking form

Please wait for the SMS confirming your registration with VPHC before booking your screening appointment.

It is essential that all fields in the online booking form are completed in full, and the drop down responses completed accurately before you submit your online booking. Please ensure that your name and date of birth are written as they appear on your passport or other official documents.

Without that information, it is not possible to uniquely identify you in order for the booking to be clinically registered and we may unfortunately have to cancel your booking.

If you're already registered with VPHC, please ensure that VPHC have your current address and mobile phone number.

Cancelling an appointment

It is understandable that sometimes circumstances change, often with little notice, but given the demand for the appointments please attend your booked appointment if possible, or cancel/reschedule by clicking the relevant link in your booking confirmation email. This will give opportunity for someone else to make use of the original appointment slot.

The screening is strictly for those not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, so if you begin to display symptoms after booking, please cancel your appointment as described above.

Do I need to bring anything with me?

You will be required to show photo ID on arrival at the screening centre. All equipment required for the test will be provided in the Adrian Building.

How do I find out the results of my screening?

You will be sent your result by SMS, direct from Victoria Park Health Centre.

How long does it take to get my results?

You will receive an SMS from Victoria Park Health Centre with your results, usually within two working days of your screening.

What happens if my screening has a positive result?

Both staff and students must follow Government advice to self-isolate and NHS Test & Trace will be informed of your result.

You do not need an additional NHS test as well – all positive tests in the University screening programme are confirmed by laboratories at University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust.

If you have a pre-existing health condition, please contact your GP by telephone for advice and follow NHS guidance.

Advice for staff that test positive for COVID-19

If you are a member of staff and have tested positive you must report to us by completing this form so we can provide the best support.

You should self-isolate at home and inform your line manager. If you are well enough and able to, continue to work from home. Should you require a period of absence, inform your line manager and report your sickness on ‘employee self-serve’.

Advice for students that test positive for COVID-19

If you are a student and have tested positive you must report to us by completing the online form so that we can provide you with the best support.

You should remain in your residential accommodation and if well enough and able to, continue your studies online.

What does a positive test mean?

A positive test means that you either have an asymptomatic COVID-19 infection (where you never develop symptoms) or that you are pre-symptomatic and may develop symptoms in the next few days but can still pass the infection on during this time.

Who cannot get a test through the University screening system?

You cannot get a test if:

  • You are not yet registered as temporary or permanent residence with Victoria Park Health Centre (see information under 'How do I get screened?' heading above)
  • You have not booked an appointment (see FAQ 'How do I book an appointment')
  • If you currently have symptoms of COVID-19 – a fever, new persistent cough, sudden loss of taste or smell
  • If you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and have been told to isolate by NHS Test and Trace
  • If you have had a positive test for COVID-19 in the last eight weeks

What should I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms on the day of the test?

If you have COVID-19 symptoms on the day of the test, do not go to campus or come for your screening appointment. Attend a local testing station or request a postal test. 

Instead of attending your screening appointment, we are asking staff and students that have symptoms of COVID-19 to ISOLATE – REPORT – TEST:

  • You should follow Government advice to self-isolate
  • You should seek an NHS test
  • You should inform the University (details below)

If you are a member of staff and have symptoms of COVID-19, you must complete this form so we can provide the best support.

If you are a student and have symptoms of COVID-19 you must report to us by completing this online form so we can provide you with the best support. 

Who holds the information about my test result?

All of your information is held by the University Hospitals Leicester and your GP.

The University does not hold any information regarding your test result, which is why it is important to inform the University if you have a positive test.