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Boots to offer private 12-minute Covid-19 test to ‘ease pressure on NHS’


By Isabel Shaw
Reporter

26 Oct 2020

Boots has announced the launch of a 12-minute Covid-19 test, which is specifically for people who are not displaying symptoms of the virus.

The pharmacy chain said the test, which will cost £120, will be processed in-store using portable devices to give patients same-day results.

According to LumiraDx – the firm behind the testing devices – the tests have a 97% accuracy rate.

Boots said it hopes the new service will give customers ‘peace of mind’ and ‘reduce inappropriate use’ of the national NHS Test and Trace system.

The 12-minute tests are, however, not currently approved as a pre-flight testing service and Boots has also launched a separate 48-hour testing service for people travelling abroad.

This service, which also costs £120, sends swabs to be processed at a private registered lab and is already available in 10 stores in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow, with plans to extend it to more than 50 outlets across the UK in the next few weeks.

Seb James, managing director of Boots UK, said he hoped that by offering these tests Boots can ‘help ease pressure on the NHS and the Government by providing additional access to testing and crucial reassurances for people across the UK’.

‘As part of the UK High Street for over 170 years, Boots is proud to serve on the front line alongside the NHS and we will continue to do our part to support the nation’s healthcare needs during this challenging time and beyond,’ he added.

The launch of Boots’ testing services follows a report from their parent company, which found that Boots UK pharmacy sales increased 0.4% on ‘a constant currency basis’ in the three months to August.

Walgreen Boots Alliance said the timing of NHS reimbursement changes had mitigated the impact of lower prescription volumes and the reduced demand for pharmacy services during Covid-19.


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