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Drive-through screening for coronavirus (Covid-19) swab test
What will happen at the test?

We have introduced screening for Covid-19 as part of our pre-assessment procedure for those patients coming for planned operations and some tests. You will be given more information about this as part of your contact with your medical team / booking team, however this page outlines what the swab test involves and what you can expect to happen. Please speak to your medical team if you have any further questions.

What does the screening process involve?

A nurse or other healthcare professional will take a sample from the back of your throat and inside your nostrils using a ‘swab’ (like a long cotton-bud).

Where do I go for my swab?

You will be asked to attend either Frimley Park Hospital or Wexham Park Hospital for your swab test. You'll be given a specific date and time to attend.

Important information

When you arrive, it is essential that you remain inside your car with the windows closed and engine off and await instructions.
Frimley Park Hospital only - Please put a piece of A4 paper on your dashboard displaying your full name and date of birth as you arrive.
Under no circumstances anyone should leave their car unless instructed.

What will happen during the test?

When instructed, drive forward to where the nurse taking your swab is standing. You will need to wind down your car window at this point. They will give you some instructions and talk you through the process. The nurse will verify your details and take the swab – a sample will be taken from the back of your throat and your nose.

Please avoid eating for an hour or two before your appointment, and bring a bottle of water in case you would like a drink afterwards.

When will I have my swab taken?

Your swab will usually be taken 72 hours before your planned admission / test. If you have not received your appointment for you Covid-19 swab please contact your admissions team.

We are advising all our patients to carefully self-isolate from when the swab has been taken until your admission date, this is usually 72 hours. This will reduce the risk of you picking up Covid-19 before your operation or procedure. There are a few exceptions to this however your doctor will advise if this is the case. Please also follow any other instructions given by your medical team.

How do I find out my results?

We will phone you. Test results will be communicated to you by the swab team by a phone call, which will appear as a withheld or 0300 number. You will be contacted within 24 - 48 hours of when your swab was taken. This depends on the time of day you are tested. Please ensure you have your mobile switched on / answer calls on your main contact number.

If your test is negative, your procedure can go ahead provided you remain well and you, and no one in your household, develop Covid-19 symptoms.
If your test result is positive or detected you may be asked to return for a repeat swab as soon as possible.

If you have not received a phone call by 4.30pm on the day before your admission, please contact the appropriate swab team:
Frimley Park Hospital - 0300 613 6662
Wexham Park Hospital - 0300 615 4080

I may have symptoms, what should I do?

If you are feeling unwell, please let your admissions coordinator / clinician know, to discuss what this means for your planned care.

Call the number on your appointment letter or contact our main switchboard on 0300 614 5000 asking for your consultant’s secretary or the department you would be attending eg endoscopy unit.

If you test positive for Covid-19 or have the symptoms below, you should not come to the hospital for your planned admission or outpatient appointment, unless you have discussed this with your clinician or admissions coordinator.

Symptoms of Covid-19 include:

  • a new cough
  • sudden loss of taste and smell
  • high temperature

Symptoms may also include:

  • diarrhoea and vomiting
  • new onset muscle and joint pains
  • fatigue

Useful links

NHS website - Check if you have coronavirus symptoms

Government website - Coronavirus: getting tested