Swabbing Protocol for Care Homes (nursing and residential) and Supported Living Centres

If a patient is symptomatic for COVID 19 in a care home (Nursing or Residential home) a swab should be taken.


Residential Homes and Support Living Centres

Residential homes and Supported Living Centres generally have no on site nursing staff, a district nurse from their local Trust should undertake swabbing.


Nursing Homes

Nursing homes should be able to undertake swabbing using the recommended PPE.

Nursing Homes need to have a supply of swabs or easy access (same day) to swabs for COVID testing and the appropriate forms to accompany swabbing from their local hospital laboratory.

Full information must be provided on the form and it should be clearly marked “Nursing home”.

Nursing Homes must have the appropriate supply of PPE to undertake this task otherwise it will have to be undertaken by a district nurse.

Homes must arrange for the swabs to be delivered to the local hospital laboratory



Trusts must facilitate a request from a residential home or supported living centre for swabbing and have a single point of contact (either telephone or e mail) that is communicated to all homes and supported living centres in their locality.

If a District Nurse needs to be deployed to take a swab the Home given a rough estimate of when the District Nurse will attend.

The District Nurse will be responsible for ensuring the swab is delivered to the laboratory.

Trust should advise Nursing Homes where the swabs are to be delivered to for testing.



Results of swabbing are phoned through to the home by the Laboratory in their local Trust to advise of the results.

Trust puts the results on NIECR

Staff in the home are responsible for notifying the resident’s GP in the case of a positive result.

If patients are acutely unwell the GP should be contacted