Coronavirus/Covid-19 – LFD Workforce Testing Scheme in Royal Mail Group – Update as of 13.12.21

Coronavirus/Covid-19 – LFD Workforce Testing Scheme in Royal Mail Group – Update as of 13.12.21:

LTBs 183/21, 190/21, 197/21, 54/21 and 522/21 reported and updated Branches on the agreement reached with Royal Mail Group to introduce a ‘Workforce Home Testing’ scheme for Covid-19/Coronavirus and its progress.

This scheme is a positive, proactive way of improving ‘Covid-Secure’ safety workplace safety standards for everyone in Royal Mail Group (Royal Mail, Parcelforce, RM Engineering, RM Fleet, RM Property & Facilities Services, RM Specialist Services, RM Customer Experience etc.,) by combatting the spread and transmission of the virus in the workplace. The simple to use Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test kits are supplied to members at their workplace and they can then take them home to use in the privacy of their own homes. The fast result, quickly identifies those infected but asymptomatic (showing no symptoms) and gets them into self-isolation promptly.

This testing scheme firstly protects the individual and secondly reduces the risk of ‘unknown’ transmission of the virus to others, bearing in mind that many people, estimated as much as one in three, may be infected but are either ‘pre-symptomatic’ (infected but incubating and not yet showing symptoms) or totally ‘asymptomatic’ (infected by the virus but not showing or experiencing any ill effects). People in these positions will not know they have the virus but are transmitting it to others who then become ill and an outbreak can occur as more become infected from the unknown source.

Following initial discussions between the CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department, Royal Mail Group and Government Agencies the BEIS (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the HSE (Health and Safety Executive), agreement was reached and contracts signed with the DHSC (Department of Health & Social Care) and the MHRA (Medicines & Healthcare Regulatory Agency) in relation to securing participation in the Government’s Workforce Covid-19 Testing Programme Pilots.

A positive test early in the course of the illness enables individuals to isolate themselves, reducing the chances that they will infect others and allows them to seek treatment earlier, likely reducing disease severity and the risk of long-term disability, or death.

Since it is recognised that a third of all Covid-19 infections are transmitted by people who are not showing any symptoms, identifying infected individuals via testing while they are not symptomatic, via workforce testing in Royal Mail Group, one of the UK’s largest employers, could therefore play a major role in helping stop the virus spread.

A ‘tripartite’ agreement was reached involving the CWU, Royal Mail Group and the Department of Health and Social Care for Royal Mail to introduce a Government initiative of regular weekly Covid-19 testing for Postal Workers which involves Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Test Kits provided to staff at work which they can take home to test themselves in the privacy of their homes, using the very simple test.

Royal Mail Group secured a stock of 300,000 LFD Test Kits from DHSC (Department of Health & Social Care) with the stock now held at Royal Mail Swindon Walk Bundling Centre ready for national distribution to workplaces requesting the kits in order that staff will be able to collect and take home, twice weekly, self-testing, test kit packs and then use the free, rapid coronavirus (Covid-19) tests twice a week at home.

The Scheme has been very successful showing that to date (13.12.21) – 70 LFD Positive Covid-19 Test Results have been found from 44 Units. These are subsequently confirmed by a PCR test and therefore Covid-19 outbreaks have been avoided over a number of Units as the benefit of getting infected workers into self-isolation blocked transmission of the virus to further individuals.

In total Royal Mail Group have had 3,113 orders for 96,387 LFD Test kits.

Results so far show:

  • 70 LFDS confirmed as Covid-19 positive cases from 44 Units

Name of Operational Sites and Offices returning Positive Test Results:

  1. Abergavenny DO
  2. Abingdon DO
  3. Airdrie DO
  4. Aldershot PFW LD
  5. Alresford (SO) DO
  6. Bath DO
  7. Bicester DO
  8. Biddulph DO
  9. Bristol North DO
  10. Burton on Trent DO
  11. Camberwell DO
  12. Chester DO
  13. Chester le Street DO
  14. Chorley PFW NWPC
  15. Coulsdon DO
  16. Cowdenbeath DO
  17. Dundee East DO
  18. Edinburgh MC
  19. Enfield DO
  20. Exeter DO
  21. Gloucester North DO
  22. Grimsby DO
  23. Hayes DO
  24. Hendon DO
  25. Manchester MC
  26. Mid Rhondda Ganol DO
  27. Newport West DO
  28. Newtonards DO
  29. Norwood DO
  30. Preston Fleet Workshop
  31. Perth Fleet Workshop
  32. Rhyl DO
  33. Salford DO
  34. Sevenoaks DO
  35. Sheffield City DO
  36. Sheffield South East DO
  37. Shrewsbury DO
  38. Shrewsbury PFW LD
  39. Stoke Contact Centre
  40. Stowmarket DO
  41. Swansea DO
  42. Vale Of Glamorgan DO
  43. Westbury on Trym DO
  44. West Midlands Fleet Workshop

Please participate in Workforce Testing

The CWU is very strongly supporting the Covid-19 Workforce Testing and we need the help and support of every CWU Rep at all levels to encourage our members to participate and take up the testing option which is a positive benefit to all our members. 

Royal Mail Group and CWU are pleased to be working with the Government to deliver a workforce home testing programme. Participation in this is voluntary and is fully supported by Royal Mail, Parcelforce, CWU/HQ and Unite/CMA HQ. We want every member to take part in regular Lateral Flow Testing to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Royal Mail Group contact for unit managers if individuals in a workplace want to participate in workforce testing:

Carole Pearce Royal Mail Group Senior Operations Solutions Manager Mob: 07860847584Email: Carole.pearce@royalmail.com

Enquiries:

Any enquiries regarding this LTB should be directed to CWU/HQ Health, Safety & Environment Department.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 548/21 – Coronavirus Covid-19 – LFD Workforce Testing Scheme in Royal Mail Group – Update as of 13.12.21

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