General information


New COVID-19 Testing site planned for Maghull.

During this week we have had the Military Unit back at Southport with its testing facility, which has been well received.  We are pleased to announce that the Military Unit have confirmed that they will be at The Meadows Leisure Centre in Maghull between the 18th – 20th May, with their pop-up facility.  We do not know when Maghull will become an option on the booking system but wanted to let you know that it is coming.

The criteria will be:

  • a key worker who is self-isolating because they are showing corona symptoms.
  • household members who are showing symptoms, resulting in a key worker self-isolating (but not minors).

You can book via the Employer Portal by obtaining a log-in by emailing or by using the self-referral route by staff submitting their details to where they will be able to add more people from their households.


Testing news

 The Government has said its priority is testing patients to inform their clinical diagnosis and that people can apply to get a test if you’re in one of the following groups:

  • all essential workers including NHS and social care workers with symptoms (see the full list of essential workers);
  • people over 65 with symptoms;
  • people with symptoms going to work who cannot work from home (for example, construction workers, shop workers, emergency plumbers and delivery drivers);
  • anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus and lives with any of those identified above.

Additionally, they are testing:

  • social care workers and residents in care homes, with or without symptoms, both to investigate outbreaks and, following successful pilots, as part of a rolling programme to test all care homes (see the guidance for care home residents and workers in England);
  • NHS workers and patients without symptoms, in line with NHS England guidance.

This means anyone in one of these groups can find out whether they have the virus.

Apply for a coronavirus test

You can select a regional test site drive-through appointment or a home test kit.

Referral through employers

Employers can refer essential workers for testing if they are self-isolating because they or member(s) of their household have coronavirus symptoms.

To improve access to tests and courier collections, the Government has launched a new portal.

Essential workers referred by their employer will receive a text message with a unique invitation code to book a test for themselves (if symptomatic) or their symptomatic household member(s) at a regional testing site.

Across all these testing methods swab samples are analysed at our labs and the result is communicated back to the individual.

Find out more about getting tested.

Applying for tests for a care home

Care home managers registered with the Care Quality Commission  can apply for Coronavirus testing kits to test the residents and staff whether they have coronavirus symptoms or not.

To apply, theye will need:

  • the care home’s CQC registration number
  • total number of residents, including number of residents with coronavirus symptoms
  • total number of staff, including agency staff
  • contact details

Apply here.


Swabbing and Testing

27th April Update 

We are delighted that Southport was one of the first locations to benefit from a Mobile Covid-19 Testing Centre as part of the Department of Heath’s efforts to increase access to testing for key workers and their households. In partnership with NHS South Sefton and NHS Southport and Formby CCG and Ministry of Defence colleagues, we were able to complete 350 key worker tests in the period this unit was operational. While the unit has now moved on, we are continuing to explore options for further testing centres.

You may have already seen that you can register as an employer on the new employer referral portal where you can upload details in the secure portal of essential workers who are self-isolating. These staff members will then receive an email or text inviting them to book a test for the symptomatic member(s) of their household. 

To find out more about this or to register as an employer, visit

To obtain a log-in employers should email with two email addresses that will primarily be used to load essential worker contact details.  Once employer details have been verified two log-in credentials will be issued for the employer referral portal.  Attached is the Employer Referral Portal User Guide that talks through the steps to Register and to log into the Portal. 

Employer Referral Portal User Guide (pdf 910KB)

The test will be conducted at one of the regional testing sites across the UK, where there is good availability.  Some of your staff and their family members may have already accessed testing themselves via the government website.  There is some home testing availability but initially this will be limited.

There are constant changes to Government guidance as you can appreciate, but we will aim to keep you up to date with information as we receive it.  We are continuing to explore options for further testing centres and will keep you informed about these also.


PPE Update

This is a notification to raise awareness that this a company that has been identified nationally as a fraudulent supplier and  providers are asked to be extra vigilant when ordering PPE stocks, reporting any unusual or suspect supplier emails or information received. 

PPE Supplier Fraud (pdf 120KB)


PPE Guidance 

The latest Government guidance can be found here.

The North-West Science and Technical Advice Cell (STAC) Covid-19: PPE Guidance Document  Summary and FAQ can be found here.


PPE Safety Alert

We have been advised that the following product below doesn’t meet the Health and Safety Executive  standards and is unsafe to use.  This is any eye protection that was distributed in 2 parts – separate frames to lenses.  Please check any equipment you have and remove this from your stock and contact to exchange for Visors. 

Tiger Eye Protector Product – Removal from the Supply Chain in respect of Covid-19 use

BSI at the request of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have carried out a test on Tiger Eye protective goggles and frames that originated from the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Programme (PIPP) Stock purchased in 2009.

The test has shown the product does not meet the current requirement for splash protection required in BSN 166 (including certain testing requirements documented in BSN 168). As a result, this product should not be used in a Covid-19 setting, and we are removing it from the supply chain.

Product details

Tiger Medical Products: Protective Goggles and Frames

Product Codes PG0001 – F and PG0001-K

Barcode for frames: 6948548400224

NPC for Frames (BTP083 and BTP403) and Lenses (BTP097, BTP404 and BTP439)

Trusts will want to consider reuse of appropriate eye protection in line with the guidance. If you now urgently require eye protection PPE for your organisation, please contact the National Supply Disruption Line on 0800 915 9964 for an urgent delivery.

Advice for staff

The current Infection Prevention and Control Guidance recommends that a full face shield or visor should be used when performing aerosol generating procedures (APGs). Staff in your organisation may already have used the above Tiger Eye Protector product for non AGPs. The risk from using it in direct patient contact when not performing AGPs is limited.

If staff have used the product when performing AGPs or if otherwise they have been exposed to droplets or splashes you should communicate this to HSE through the RIDDOR route


PPE Supplier List

This Independent Suppliers List for PPE is a list of all suppliers that we have been made aware of and that have approached Sefton Council during this time to offer PPE supplies. Please note that the details of these suppliers are unchecked.  Sefton Council takes no responsibility for the quality and cost of PPE equipment that is secured via these agents.  It is the responsibility as a care provider that you must assure that PPE products and equipment supplied from the listed distributors is of the correct quality and compliance and all appropriate checks should be undertaken by the supplier and the provider to ensure safe use.

Please note that you can still email if you have a critical need for PPE.


Shortage of PPE – Pathway for Providers 

The PPE Flow Chart has been updated and can be found here.   

There is now a dedicated email address to use for requests for emergency PPE supply –

Please note that the normal route of supply should always be tried first and that a limited supply of around 48 hours’ worth only can be released from the central stock, as this is all that has been released nationally. 

PPE Emergency Supplies Update

Due to the improving picture on PPE supply we have experienced a reduced demand for PPE emergency supplies over the weekend and therefore have moved back to a Monday to Friday Service. Please continue to submit requests to for weekday collections.  

Some key things to consider:

Current evidence that direct and indirect contact, for example touching things or people then your face or eating, and droplets (from coughs and sneezes) are the main transmission routes and the personal protective equipment requirements reflect this. This guidance is likely to be updated as more is known about transmission of COVID-19.

Anyone working with people in the extremely vulnerable, shielded group, must wear gloves, apron and surgical mask, as a minimum. This is to provide protection to the shielded person. For provision of direct care (being within 2 metres) for any one with symptoms, plastic aprons, fluid repellent face masks, eye protection and gloves are recommended. Where it is not possible to find out in advance if the individual has symptoms then PPE should be used.

Risk assessments must be carried out for different staff groups and they need to understand how to use any PPE recommended following the risk assessment.

It is important that staff know how to put on and take off PPE correctly so that it can protect them.

Donning and doffing guides can be found here.

A guide to helping prevent facial skin damage beneath personal protective equipment can be found here.

Standard infection prevention and control precautions are also vital, alongside PPE, this means paying extra attention to handwashing and environmental cleaning and making sure that the community infection prevention and control team are contacted for advice whenever there is a resident with symptoms of COVID-19. 

Community Infection Prevention and Control Team - 0151 295 3036 

For Out of Hours Public Health England Health Protection Team Cheshire and Merseyside - 0151 434 4819

 Thank you for continuing to support the PPE supply and demand issue by;

  • Pursuing your own supply route. We hope to be able to share a process for Care Homes to access NHS Supply routes at some point this week which should greatly help
  • Letting us know the issues on the daily ring round and (this is being collated to give us a national picture)
  • Please await the national distribution of emergency stock which will be delivered to Merseyside on Tuesday 7th and distributed from there in. This is the latest advised date which maybe be subject to change. We have dedicated staff working on this and are ready to act as swiftly as possible. Care Homes and Care at Home providers are identified as the high priority
  • Please register on the mandatory Capacity Tracker
  • Please register for your mandatory NHS Net Account

Providers who have an urgent requirement for PPE, which they are unable to secure through their business as usual channels, or via their Local Resilience Forums, should contact the NSDR via the 24/7 helpline: 0800 915 9964 (Freephone number in the UK), and a Direct Line from overseas: 0191 283 6543.

The national supply disruption response from Sunday 12th April 2020 can be found here.

Legionella Risk due to Building Closures

As buildings are closed during COVID-19, there is an increased Legionella risk if action is not taken. 

 As a general principle, outlets on hot and cold water systems should be used at least once a week to maintain a degree of water flow and to minimise the chances of stagnation.

 To manage the risks during non-occupancy, consideration should be given to implementing a suitable flushing regime or other measures such as draining the system if it is to remain vacant for long periods (see

See full PHE guidance here.

Joint statment from MBA, Care Provider Alliance, CQC, Royal College of GPs

Information on when a GP unable to attend the home to provide a death certificate.    Joint statement on Advanced Care Planning.

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Last Updated on 27 May 2020

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