Sellafield Ltd has joined forces with a Yorkshire-based business that was launched last spring in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, to provide its workforce with at-home lateral flow Covid testing and a support service for employees.

After completing an accelerated two-week trial with 150 staff at the Cumbrian nuclear waste management site, Moore Medtech has rolled out its services to the full 5,000-strong Sellafield team of key workers.

In line with government protocols for large businesses, staff will be sent rapid (15 minute) at-home tests to use every three days in order to mitigate the risk of asymptomatic employees who are currently infectious going on site.

In addition, the company has implemented an online programme, including a video, to train Sellafield personnel about how to carry out the testing correctly and have trained nurses to support any employees with test-related issues and concerns.

Madeleine Archer, from Sellafield, said: “We don’t have the kind of business where everyone can work from home or the option of just pausing operations as some of our facilities require 24/7 supervision for nuclear safety, however, we needed to increase workforce confidence in attending work.

“Having reviewed options for testing in the workplace, we realised that the sheer number of employees would have required a very large facility and with lots of our teams on 12 hour shifts, asking them to wait for testing before they start work would make the day too long. We had heard about Moore Medtech’s home testing programme for other large organisations and this sounded like the best solution.”

She added: “The testing programme has been well-received with good up-take so far from the workforce. Moore Medtech’s support has been excellent, helping us achieve our aim of increasing employee confidence to come to work on site.”

Jamie Moore, CTO of Moore Medtech said: “With thousands of key workers providing vital services, businesses have to find a way of keeping people on site as safely as possible and this is exactly what our services have been designed to do."

He added: “It’s not enough for a business simply to send out test kits, personnel need to be trained to use them correctly in order to get a clear result and also be given guidance about what to do next, depending on the outcome of the test. In addition to a training video and comprehensive bespoke website, our programme at Sellafield gives employees access to two online drop-in support sessions every day, run by trained nurses, who can quickly provide assistance and answer any questions.

“It’s vital that we find ways to live with the virus and the implementation of rapid lateral flow testing programmes by responsible employers is an effective way of enabling key workers, many of whom have to work in close proximity with one another, to continue to operate while minimising the risk of cross contamination.”