- Individuals willing to order home test kits dial in 119 to place their orders.
- The home testing kits will remain accessible through the online portal for order.
- NHS Test and Trace has been working with the RNIB to improve home tests for visually disabled.
In further bid to ease and expedite the testing for Covid-19, the UK government has now instituted a mechanism following which there is no necessary requirement of an internet connection as the home test kits can be ordered over a phone call.
Home test kit
Individuals willing to order home test kits dial in 119 to place their respective orders. The decision has been primarily taken to benefit the people who don’t have the internet access.
With this mode of ordering the home test kits, users are not required to either share their email addresses or any digital prerequisites. Now, the PCR home test kits can be ordered from remote locations where application support was not there, and people can ascertain their health condition at home if there are some symptoms.
The home testing kits will remain accessible through the online portal for order. The order-over-call facility has been introduced to make sure that everyone in the UK, with any possible symptoms of Covid-19, can obtain a home testing kit at ease.
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Multiple language support
Several charities, including Macular Society, Thomas Pocklington Trust and Visionary, and the RNIB, have been working with the NHS Test and Trace to provide feedback that can help in improving the accessibility of coronavirus testing services.
More than 850 test sites have access to language translation services under the network of NHS Test and Trace. The reading instructions of Covid-19 home test kits can be translated into multiple languages including Hindi, Bengali, Indian Punjabi, Pakistani Punjabi, Polish, Slovak, Somali, Urdu, Gujarati, Arabic, Mandarin and Chinese. The instructions are available at the online medium, as well as in the hard copy format.
The NHS Test and Trace has been working closely with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to improve home testing experience for people with visual disabilities. For all the individuals with visual impairments who are ordering home test kits, the NHS Test and Trace has been introducing new tools following the recommendations from RNIB.
The home test kits are equipped with improved boxes that are easy-to-assemble while returning them for tests. The individuals can further call an RNIB information line with which a recorded version of the instructions can be heard. Additionally, the NHS is providing the instruction in large font sizes, an audio CD and braille.
Moreover, especially trained NHS Test and Trace staff are being deployed to provide a video call support service through which they will assist the people with vision disabilities in operating the home test kit. The video call support service is likely to be launched at the onset of spring season under which the NHS Test and Trace staff will act as the eyes of patients.
Strengthening Covid tests
The widespread testing at Covid-19 testing sites and with the usage of home testing kits, people have been asked to self-isolate if there is a positive test results within their close contact. The healthcare officials across the UK have been processing hundreds of thousands of tests a day.
With over 850 testing sites in operation, a larger chunk of people can access a Covid test locally without travelling a longer distance. According to the Department of Health and Social Care, the median distance travelled for getting the test done is nearly 1.9 miles. The NHS Test and Trace has been improving the turnaround time for the results of home testing kits and has attained a median turnaround time of 35 hours, since the service was launched in May 2020.