Help with Rapid Testing

URGENT – Volunteer request to help rapid testing in College Sept 6-10, 2021

Schools and colleges return this September, and are required to provide lateral flow (rapid) testing for students.
We have been asked to help out at Calderdale College, who have 4000 students to process – a mammoth task!

The plan is for all students to be supervised while performing a self-administered test in the College. Once they have completed this several times, and judged to be capable, they will then be given tests to do at home.

The Volunteer Role

We need volunteers to help during that initial 1-2 week observation period, starting on Monday 6th Sept until Friday 10th Sept and then possibly the following week.  There will be 2 shifts a day, one beginning at 8.45am – 12.00pm and the other at 12.45 -4pm (to include a brief briefing at the start of each session). Volunteers are welcome to attend an AM, PM or both shifts each day. Ideally there will be 15 people on each shift, which is a lot of volunteer hours to fill – so if you can sign up a for a few shifts, that’s even better.

It will take place in the Sports Hall at Calderdale College, Francis Street Halifax HX1 3UZ

College staff will be there doing basic administration and there will be clinical oversight by a public health schools nurse. You’ll be asked to perform a test on yourself first, so that it’s clear that you understand the process. The main role then simply requires you to observe each student performing the task and offer any reassurance or guidance needed.  Any more in-depth issues, you can refer to the nurse.

Are there any special requirements?

Social distancing will be maintained at all times, and any PPE that is required, will be provided, though you may wish to bring your own masks. Do be aware that since it is no longer a legal requirement to wear masks, you may be dealing with students and others who are not doing so.

DBS checks are not required as this will be supervised at all times, and volunteers will be asked to sign a simple agreement either on arrival or in advance.

You may need to be able to stand for periods of time while actually observing, but seats will be available.

What roles are involved?

The roles will involve assisting the college with COVID testing students on their return from the summer break. The different roles include:

  • Meet and greet. This role will ensure that students know where to go when they arrive and will confirm that they have given consent.
  • Queue monitoring. This role will be to ensure that students remain socially distanced in the queue and use their mobile phones to give consent if they haven’t already done so.
  • Testing station allocation. This role will be to direct students to available testing bays after they have registered and will confirm the time that the test was started.
  • Testing station oversight. This role will be to ensure that students know what to do to complete the test. They will have had training and our Public Health Nurse will also be in this area.
  • Testing material control. This role will be to ensure that each testing station has sufficient materials for each test, will remove the non-clinical waste at the end of each test and will wipe down the testing station.
  • Testing material control (2). This role will be to prepare trays with new testing materials on it to allocate to each testing station.
  • Testing time oversight. This role will be to confirm when a student has completed the allocated waiting time and reported their results. This will be 30 minutes after the test was taken.
  • Exit pass allocation. This role will be to confirm that the student has completed all steps required and issue them with an exit pass to allow them to return to their class.

Are expenses offered?

Travel expenses can be covered on application (a weekly bus pass may be possible, for example) and a meal voucher will be provided to each volunteer on the day, which can be used in the college’s Inspire Café. Free Water/Tea/Coffee/Biscuits will be available throughout the day. Full PPE is provided as needed.

How much time do I need to commit?

We really need volunteers who are able to do multiple shifts over this 1 (possibly expanding to 2) week period, to avoid the necessity for constant training of new people.
Our signup form asks you to pick shifts, but if you have caveats or you’re not sure about certain days yet, you can specify this in the space for comments. For example, you may be able to make every afternoon shift, but need to leave at 4.30 rather than 5. This can be accommodated, so don’t let this put you off.

It would probably help if you watched this useful video of the process of taking a Lateral Flow Test  LFT Version 4 – YouTube   . All students will be asked to watch this prior to taking the tests.

If you can spare some time to help ensure our students can return to school safely, then please do head to this sign up link:

Later after you have signed up, you will be contacted by email or phone with further detials.  Please note, completing this initial form is not a binding commitment, nor confirmation of the shifts allocated to you – we will confirm these late in the week before the College volunteering starts, and it is almost certain we’ll need you for the ones you have signed up for.