Help fight Covid-19: New free NHS test available now at DMU

DMU is working with the Government’s Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) by hosting on campus a pilot of a new type of test in the fight against Covid-19.

What is the DMU pilot?

The pilot is the first phase of what is hoped will become a national testing project and is being run by NHS Test and Trace.

The pilot will explore how effectively lateral flow swab antigen tests can be used on a large scale. Lateral flow tests can produce quick results and can be used to identify Covid-19 infection in those without symptoms (asymptomatic). It is hoped that running these tests across a large population will result in faster detection of cases, and therefore more effective prevention of outbreaks.

If the DMU pilot is successful, it could allow for the rapid deployment of new, regular testing technology in key areas across the country, a clear step forward in the fight against Covid-19.

The lateral flow tests are for people without symptoms. Find out how to access a test if you're displaying symptoms of Covid-19.

Key points

  • The tests are freely available for all staff and students
  • The tests are only for those with NO symptoms
  • Part of NHS national pilot
  • Tests must be booked in advance (see below)
  • Visiting test centre for Covid-19 test is in line with national lockdown regulations
  • Filling in survey afterwards helps improve process as it expands nationally
  • Aim is for all students and staff to be tested regularly (at least twice a week)

How will it work?

If you agree to volunteer, you will be asked by NHS to take a test at least once per week initially and up to twice per week as the pilot progresses. This regularity is vital because it is only by frequent testing that cases are identified quickly, preventing infection outbreaks and minimising disruption to daily lives.

Testing will take place at a new testing centre operating inside The Watershed, on Upperton Road. Testing will be carried out there on weekdays between 9am and 5pm.

Appointments will need to be made beforehand to ensure social distancing can be maintained at all times.

Booking a test is simple and quick, please follow these steps:

  1. Log in to MyDMU
  2. Click on the new ‘Covid Antigen Test’ tile
  3. Under ‘Select Location’, select De Montfort University
  4. You can then choose the date and time you would like to attend. You will be able to book up to seven days ahead
  5. You will be asked to enter your contact details and agree to the terms and conditions
  6. When your booking has been made successfully, it will be confirmed with an email and text message

You will receive reminders via email and text message 24 hours and 1 hour before your appointment.

Once on site you will be guided through the registration process by the NHS Test and Trace team or their representatives.

Important: This test pilot is only for people who do not have coronavirus symptoms. If you get symptoms you’ll need to self-isolate and book a test you can take at home. See for more advice. Use 111 online or call 111 if you need medical help. In an emergency dial 999.

What to bring:

  • A form of student/staff ID
  • Your phone, tablet or laptop. If you do not have one of these then a staff member at the site will help you
  • A face covering or mask. You’ll need to:
      • Make sure it covers your mouth and nose
      • Wear it at all times except when your sample is taken. A staff member will tell you when you can take it off and put it back on again
  • If possible bring your personal alcohol hand rub as you will be required to clean your hands before testing
  • Please wear flat shoes for health and safety reasons

What to expect

  • You’ll need to follow social distancing by staying at least two metres from other people at the test site, including staff
  • Once on site, you’ll need to register your test online before you take the test. If you need help with this, please ask the site staff. They’ll help you while maintaining social distancing
  • The entire process should take no more than 15 minutes.

When do I get a result and what should I do if it’s positive?

Once you have had your test, you will receive your results within 24-48 hours. If you do test positive for Covid-19, you will need to self-isolate and inform DMU through

If you receive a negative result, we would ask that you book a new test within three days. Our aim is to test [SY1] everybody at DMU twice a week. This regularity is vital because it is only by frequent testing that cases are identified quickly, preventing infection outbreaks and minimising disruption to daily lives.

Your feedback is vital

By taking part in this NHS Test and Trace pilot you are helping to stop the spread of the virus and protect other members of society. It is your views which will help shape and improve the pilot as it develops.

As such, we would really appreciate it if, once you have had your test, you could fill out this short survey here.

Alternatively, scan this QR code to access the survey:


NHS Test and Trace may also contact you and ask you to attend focus groups on your testing experience

DMU and NHS Test and Trace takes the protection of your privacy very seriously. To find out how your personal data will be used when you register for a coronavirus test read the Government’s coronavirus privacy note.

The aim of this pilot is to make more testing available across the country, to create a faster test which can be used at scale. If successful, the effect of this could be to stop outbreaks of Covid-19 before they happen. This is your chance to be part of what could be a real advance in the fight against the pandemic.

For more detail on how the testing works and what it means, see our frequently asked questions page.

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