John Lewis Partnership is rolling out NHS Test and Trace lateral flow Covid-19 testing, partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care, following a pilot scheme in November.
Covid-19 testing was introduced initially to the national John Lewis distribution centre at Magna Park, Milton Keynes, in November via a pilot scheme. This was in response to Black Friday and pre-Christmas demand which saw the site process some 135,000 johnlewis.com orders per day during the month.
Some 1,000 John Lewis staff, alongside temporary agency staff, volunteered to be tested up to three-times a week during the pilot.
John Lewis said that with some one in three individuals with Covid-19 not displaying symptoms, testing helped to protect staff and customers by identifying those that needed to isolate, ensuring they did not unknowingly pass on the virus.
Due to the pilot’s success, testing will now be made available at 40 John Lewis and Waitrose locations in England. This includes Waitrose and John Lewis supply chain sites, Waitrose.com customer fulfilment centres, John Lewis textiles factory and selected Waitrose and John Lewis shops.
Working closely with NHS Test and Trace, it will provide the capability to test around 16,000 John Lewis employees and temporary agency staff per week.
The testing is voluntary, provides results within 30 minutes and feeds directly into the national testing database.
Andrew Murphy, Executive Director for Operations at the John Lewis Partnership said that the testing scheme ran alongside a wide range of measures in place to keep its employees and customers safe.
Baroness Dido Harding, Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, said: “This pilot is one of many which will lay the foundations for the next phase of NHS Test and Trace with rapid, targeted testing which will allow us to identify even more people who may be unknowingly carrying the virus, more quickly.”