Rapid testing

Dr Shaun Davis blogs on our lateral flow testing pilot

We’re working with the Government on new testing technologies and two of our sites are now piloting lateral flow test devices for Covid-19.

We started at Sheffield City Delivery Office – and you can see how colleagues there have responded in this RMtv programme – before moving on to Birmingham Mail Centre, earlier this month.

With the Government indicating around one-in-three people are asymptomatic – or present with no symptoms – this pilot will enable us to increase testing. Increasing testing will increase awareness and give us better insight. This will allow a truer measure and more transparent picture about people who are Covid-positive that are not presenting with any symptoms. It will give us really meaningful data.

We worked with the local authorities in Sheffield and Birmingham to roll out the pilots. We’ve been very much a partner with the Government in this work and hopefully we’ll be able to continue that relationship. The work that we do will contribute the national effort, as well as keeping our own people safe and well. I only read today that Boris Johnson has suggested lateral flow devices could be used to reopen theatres in the months to come.

One of the reasons why the Government has been so active about us all playing our part – be that as a large organisation or as individuals – is because it’s a national effort. The Government are very appreciative of the work we’ve been doing and we’re equally as appreciative of the support they’ve given us.

It’s a partnership on four levels – Royal Mail, our trade unions, the Government and colleagues. That’s important. The organisation doesn’t exist without the individuals within it so we all have a unique and personal part to play.

I’d like to send my personal and heartfelt thanks to Sheffield and Birmingham colleagues for being part of the pilot and a huge thanks to our union colleagues for the work they’ve done in supporting this across a range of different activities.

However, we’ve constantly got to keep on our guard. The pilots have had a really encouraging start but let’s not forget it’s really important to keep in mind the key message of hands, face, space. And we must keep our social-distancing measures in place.

19 Feb 2021