COVID-19 antibody tests now available at St John & St Elizabeth Hospital
28th May 2020
St John & St Elizabeth Hospital are now offering the COVID-19 antibody test to show whether you have come into contact with coronavirus or not.
Antibody testing is key to the governments response to the virus and is likely to become an important factor in planning for the future, seeing elderly relatives, and returning to work.
We offer the test at the competitive price of £95, for an in-clinic appointment with a healthcare professional.
Book you appointment now, call 0207 806 4060.
How does the test work?
The test detects if you’ve developed an immune response to COVID-19, or specifically, SARS-CoV-2 virus. Antibodies appear during an immune response to the virus should you have had it.
What does the test entail?
Once you have booked an appointment, by calling 0207 806 4060, you will come the Hospital’s Urgent Care facility, Casualty First, where the test will be carried out. The Hospital has strict social distancing and infection prevention control measures in place to keep you, our staff and other patients safe.
The test is quick and simple; a blood test will be carried out on your arm and you are free to go. We will get back to you within 24 hours with the test results by email. The result with be either positive or negative, it does not tell you the level of antibodies should they be present.
We ask that you attend the appointment alone so as to limit the spread of infection.
What test do you use?
St John & St Elizabeth Hospital do not compromise on quality, which is why we are using the Abbott antibody test. This is the test approved by Public Health England and CE marked. The test is extremely accurate with a sensitivity (true positive rate) of 98% and a specificity (true negative rate) of 100%.
If I have the antibodies will I be immune from getting COVID-19 in the future?
There is currently insufficient evidence to confidently say that testing positive to this test will protect you from future bouts of Coronavirus.
It is likely that having the antibodies provides some temporary immunity to COVID-19, however, it is not yet known how long that immunity will last. This means that whatever your result, it is important that you continue to follow the government’s advice on social distancing and other measures designed to stop the spread of the virus.
Will it tell me if I have Coronavirus?
The antibody test is not designed to detect if you currently have COVID-19 and you should not get this test if you are symptomatic – symptoms include a fever (37.8 degrees Celsius or above), a continuous cough, or the lack of taste. If you think you have COVID-19 please do not come to the Hospital, self isolate and call NHS 111.
How long after having symptoms can I have the antibody test?
The advice is to wait at least 14 days after having had any COVID-19 symptoms before having the antibody test. This is to help ensure the accuracy of the test.
How accurate is the test?
If you have the test at least 14 days after you have had any COVID-19 symptoms, then the test is extremely accurate with a sensitivity (true positive rate) of 98% and a specificity (true negative rate) of 100%. We use the Public Health England approved test by Abbott to provide quality testing.
There is still a lot to learn about this coronavirus, and so if antibodies are not present in your blood it does not necessarily mean you have not had COVID-19.
Is it safe to visit the Hospital for my test?
St John and St Elizabeth Hospital have maintained an impeccably high standard of infection prevention control throughout the pandemic, with very few cases of Coronavirus entering the Hospital, all of which have been contained.
We have implemented a range of measures to protect you, our staff, and other patients attending antibody testing including:
- staggered appointment times,
- patients to attend appointments alone
- screens at reception,
- social distance markers,
- pre-screening of our patients,
- hand sanitisers throughout the building.
- PPE available for our staff.
How do I book an appointment?
You can contact us to arrange an appointment by calling 0207 806 4060, where one of our team will take your details, screen you for possible COVID-19 symptoms, and confirm your time and date.
How much does the test cost?
St John & St Elizabeth Hospital are charging £95 for the COVID-19 antibody test. This is competitively priced for a professional test in a safe and caring environment.