NHS workers can now be tested for coronavirus at a new driving test center at Boots’ headquarters in Beeston, Nottingham.
The beauty and health care retailer installed the facility at the company’s head office within 10 days, Nottinghamshire Live reported.
The innovative test method has only been used in a few places across the country.
The tests are performed by volunteers from Boots staff.
It will offer free tests to NHS workers who isolate themselves, not knowing if they have coronavirus or not. Those eligible for the tests will be invited by their employer who will inform them of the process.
It comes as more than 200 people are now tested positive for the virus in Nottinghamshire.
At a government press conference on March 27, Michael Gove – who replaced Boris Johnson after testing positive for coronavirus – revealed increased testing capacity and said tests were immediately tested.
Seb James, managing director of UK boots, said the company believed – as it has done for the past 171 years – that it had a duty to “take a step forward and be part of the solution” to the current crisis.
He said: “I am extremely proud that Boots supports COVID-19 testing for NHS workers.
“Boots has been at the heart of health care in the UK for 171 years and has always offered to support the community when needed.
“We will work with the NHS to recruit qualified professionals – both colleagues from Boots and the wider community.
“I am sure there will be many clinicians and trained health care students who will take a step forward to support our dedicated colleagues at the NHS.
“The locations are being defined, but will be spread across the UK; however, they will not be in Boots stores, allowing our colleagues to focus on supporting our customers and patients. ”
Nine people have unfortunately died so far Nottingham hospitals.
Five other people died after being tested positive for coronavirus at King’s Mill Hospital in Mansfield.
The government has already been criticized for its lack of screening options, especially for NHS workers who are essential in efforts to support those who are vulnerable and in critical need of care.
Boots hopes the new facility will allow workers to return to the front line as soon as possible.
Joati Dhallu, trainer at Boots Health Academy and test center volunteer, said, “I volunteered today to support our NHS at this crucial time. At this time.”
The company has been testing its new facilities in the past week.
Richard Bradley, pharmacy manager for Boots UK, added: “We are here today at Boots’ home in Beeston, Nottingham, to open a test site so that Covid can test NHS employees for free so that they can return to work to support their frontline colleagues.
“In the first case, the tests are intended for NHS workers who isolate themselves, not knowing whether they coveted or not.”