How Zesty is helping NHS staff book COVID-19 antibody tests

Written by Lloyd Price, Cofounder, Zesty


People, the workforce, are one of the NHS’ biggest assets. Keeping them safe whilst on the frontlines delivering care is a priority for every acute and community NHS trust across the UK on a daily basis. The COVID-19 pandemic has and continues to place unprecedented pressures on all staff in terms of carrying out their jobs, often in new environments, with new systems, processes and workflows.

One growing operational pressure we continue to see on a daily basis is how to set up and operate a COVID-19 antibody testing solution for NHS staff at short notice. The government signed contracts in May 2020 to supply over 10 million tests from Roche and Abbott, prompting various organisations including the Labour Party to state: “NHS staff should receive weekly tests for COVID-19 to ensure the treatment waiting list can be safely cleared.”

With test kits now being distributed across the NHS and increasing political attention, there is a growing need from hospital trusts and community providers to deploy a fast, secure, online booking solution enabling all staff, both full-time, part-time and contractors, to book a COVID-19 antibody test.

The challenges to providing a solution for NHS trusts is how to manage the supply and demand of available COVID-19 antibody test appointments, how to communicate with staff a new service is available, what data to capture at the point of booking, how to create new ‘patient records’ for staff in the PAS [Patient Administration System] or EPR [Electronic Patient Record], how to support and train staff to use a new system.

Developing a solution to these current, operational problems was a natural fit for our company, Zesty. We have seven years of experience providing online booking solutions for patients, so diversifying into booking for staff progressed quickly, building on the foundations we already had in place. One example of an NHS trust we have helped in a very short period of time is Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust. In less than a week, we set up and deployed online booking for their staff at various locations ranging from Brighton to Bognor to Crawley.

Richard West, Strategic Development Manager, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust commented on the successful rollout, saying: “Zesty created a staff booking solution for us in a matter of days, as a Trust we went from thinking about COVID antibody testing to 3000 online bookings and 2600 successful staff tests in 10 days. The key benefit for us has been the standalone, non-integrated workflows requiring no IT department time, we have been able to launch the service independently, solely with Zesty’s support.”

In addition to various NHS trusts adopting our online booking solution, we were excited to be featured in a BBC News episode titled COVID-19 brings remote medicine revolution to the UK, highlighting a number of technology suppliers helping NHS trusts on the frontlines.

We are proud to help and support NHS organisations and are happy to answer any technical, operational or commercial questions, please feel free to email hello@zesty.co.uk

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