Give families with additional needs the option to use a free Saliva Test in place of LFTs

Give families with additional needs the option to use a free Saliva Test in place of LFTs

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Why this petition matters

Started by Kate Carson

Lateral Flow Tests are proving to be a key part of our everyday life now in regards to the Countries response to Covid. Not only do they help to identify when someone may have the virus but they can also be required in order for people to gain access to certain venues, groups and activities. 

Unfortunately for some families using a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) is not easy. For families with members who have additional needs trying to undertake an LFT can be an extremely anxious and stressful experience for all involved, with the outcome often being that they are unable to successfully use an LFT. It should be noted that we are not just talking about a little discomfort or unwillingness to participate in taking an LFT here, but an overwhelming fear and such high anxiety that trying to take an LFT can cause actual trauma. 

For some children with additional needs it can be hard to know if they are feeling unwell which is where the option of being able to test for Covid, especially if they have been a close contact, would be important. There has also been the appearance of cases of Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS) which is a new condition that can occur weeks after someone has had the virus that causes Covid. This condition can be very serious and is another reason why it would be helpful for parents to know if their child has the virus so they can be more alert to respond to any possible symptoms of PIMS. 

There is a simple alternative to Lateral Flow Testing which has been successfully piloted and is a non invasive and accessible way to test for Covid. Saliva Testing does not involve nose or throat swabbing, with participants being required to spit onto a clean teaspoon and transfer about 2ml of saliva into a sample tube provided. 

The following statement is taken from the NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Saliva Testing Programme website:

'How accurate is saliva testing?As COVID-19 infects salivary glands first, saliva testing is an effective test for identifying the most infectious individuals prior to symptoms.

Samples processed using LAMP technology have a 99% specificity, meaning that they are almost completely accurate at identifying active COVID-19 infections, especially for those infected with and/or shedding high levels of virus. In validation studies across multiple laboratories in the UK and in other countries, positive saliva samples from LAMP tests have been ‘double tested’ against PCR tests and shown to be highly accurate.'

We are therefore petitioning the UK Government to provide free Saliva Testing Kits as an option to families with members who have additional needs. Providing these kits would enable families to have the same opportunities to keep themselves and others safe in a less traumatic and more accessible way.

Please sign and share this petition as widely as you can. Thank you.

290 have signed. Let’s get to 500!