COVID-19 testing

We’ve worked in partnership with the Scottish Government, the UK Government, Public Health Scotland, NHSScotland laboratories, the Scottish Microbiology and Virology Network, academia and industry, providing the necessary specialist advice, knowledge and expertise to rapidly increase testing capacity for COVID-19.

Together, we’ve supported the roll out of COVID-19 testing to Scottish laboratories across the country as part of Test and Protect – Scotland’s approach to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Supporting Test and Protect

We’re supporting NHSScotland and partners in many ways during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Take a look at our video which highlights how, along with our partners, we've supported  COVID-19 testing capacity and access during 2020.

We’ve worked with Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) colleagues and academic institutions to help them quickly deploy their own laboratory resources.

Over a six-week period, we supported NHSScotland to rapidly increase COVID-19 testing capacity from 350 tests a day to over 6,500.

As part of the UK Government testing strategy, we’ve supported the roll out of thirteen Mobile Testing Units across Scotland, working closely with the UK Government, Scottish Government and HM Forces.

Supplying NHSScotland

We’ve worked with suppliers to make sure we have robust and sustainable supply chains for testing equipment and consumables, including sourcing and supplying COVID-19 swab sample testing kits. We’ve also negotiated a contract for a specialist solution that’s added to test tubes, helping make the testing turnaround process more efficient and further helping to keep laboratory staff safe.

Alongside this, we’ve also supported our colleagues in NHS boards to purchase testing equipment, consumables and reagents for testing – including getting essential kit to remote laboratories as far afield as Shetland.

Scotland’s National Contact Tracing Centre

In the fight against coronavirus, contact tracing is used to identify close contacts of any individuals within 24 hours of a positive test result. We’ve established Scotland’s National Contact Tracing Centre (NCTC), a key element in delivering Test and Protect.

We’ve been commissioned to deliver and manage the NCTC on behalf of Public Health Scotland, with colleagues from HR, Finance, and Digital and Security all playing their part and new recruits joining existing NSS and PHS staff deployed from other areas.

Digital solutions

Our Digital and Security team has also led a number of technology strands, including delivering a digital platform and software for Test and Protect, and ensuring data can be easily and securely shared as needed. They also introduced an online social care portal for Scottish care homes to access testing for staff and residents.

All Our COVID-19 response services