We offer three types of Covid-19 tests at The Whitehall Clinic
- Covid-19 Antigen RT-PCR Swab Test
For previous infection/antibody detection using a blood sample:
- Covid-19 Rapid In-Clinic Antibody Test *NEW & APPROVED*
- Covid-19 Lab-Based Antibody Blood Test
Are you interested in our Corporate Covid-19 Testing package? Click here for more information.
*please note, these turnaround times have been updated on 18.09.2020 and take into account the increased demand in testing experienced by our laboratory partners.
There are three types of tests for Covid-19 available at The Whitehall Clinic.
- Covid-19 PCR Antigen Swab Test (for travel)
Testing for travel requirements. This test looks for the presence of virus in your nose and mouth (a nasopharyngeal swab). Please note, we do not test patients with symptoms.
- Covid-19 Blood Antibody Test
An antibody blood test for previous infection. The Whitehall Clinic offers a rapid in-clinic antibody test with immediate results and also a lab based antibody test.
We do not test patients with current Covid-19 symptoms. Please visit an NHS testing centre.
A ‘fit to fly certificate’ is included in the price of the Covid-19 PCR Swab Test and is emailed to you with the negative result. You will receive your results two days* after your appointment.
All appointments are booked through our website and you must ensure you take our laboratory turnaround time of two days* and your testing window requirements into account before booking the test. Our team are unable to advise on specific requirements for different countries/airlines.
*Please note, this turnaround time was updated on 18.09.2020 and takes into account the increased demand in testing experienced by our laboratory partners.
The swab tests for the presence of Coronavirus itself and can detect infection even if there are no obvious symptoms (78% of cases of Covid-19 are asymptomatic) It is the most reliable indicator of current infection.
The scientific consensus is that the virus can stay in your nose and throat for 14 days but it can be shorter or longer in some people. Therefore, a negative result may also mean the virus was not in your nose and throat when the test was done, or the swab test was not correctly done.
If the nasopharyngeal swab is taken correctly you will get an accurate and reliable result. We have fully trained Health Care Practitioners to carry out tests at our clinic or your workplace under safe conditions to ensure the best sampling, resulting in more accurate tests.
- Interpreting the result of a test for Covid-19 depends on two things: the accuracy of the test, and the pre-test probability or estimated risk of disease before testing. Our clinic always screens our clients for symptoms prior to any antigen test.
- A positive RT-PCR test for Covid-19 test has more weight than a negative test because of the test’s high specificity but moderate sensitivity
- A single negative Covid-19 test should not be used as a rule-out in patients with strongly suggestive symptoms
- At The Whitehall Clinic we always share information with patients about the accuracy of our Covid-19 tests
- No test gives a 100% accurate result
Specificity for detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection: Specificity is the proportion of patients without disease who have a negative test or true negative rate 100%
Sensitivity for detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection: Sensitivity is the proportion of patients with disease who have a positive test or the true positive rate 98%
The swab is soft-tipped and taken from the back of the nose and mouth. It is a routine test that is performed to diagnose other infections. This test is considered to be safe, regardless of your medical history. Click here for a video on how we obtain a nasopharyngeal swab specimen. You will spend less than 10 minutes in our clinic to have your test done.
We are currently not visiting patients in their homes for swab testing.
For our larger corporate clients we can arrange workplace testing for both the swab and blood tests, in accordance with the latest infection control and PPE guidance.
We will email your results and a detailed explanation two days after your appointment. Please check your junk/spam folders before contacting us regarding your results.
All positive swab results will also receive a phone call from a member of our medical team.
As Covid-19 infection is a notifiable illness, the lab will also inform Public Health England if the result of your Covid-19 PCR Antigen Swab Test is positive.
If your test is confirmed as positive we will arrange a remote consultation with a member of our medical team. Our team have been working on the frontline for the past few months dealing with the pandemic and are all GMC registered doctors.
In the majority of cases you can self-manage your symptoms without complications, self-isolating at home and using https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/
- Covid-19 Lab-Based Antibody Blood Test
Our antibody tests are carried out in a UKAS accredited Virology laboratory. The Abbott test screens for the presence of IgG antibodies which indicates if an individual has previously had Covid-19. They can be detected normally 14 days following the infection.
Specificity for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2: Specificity is the proportion of patients without antibodies who have a negative test or true negative rate 100%
Sensitivity for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2: Sensitivity is the proportion of patients with antibodies who have a positive test or the true positive rate 97.5%
- Covid-19 Rapid In-Clinic Antibody Test *NEW & APPROVED*
This is an MHRA, CE marked approved test, as per their latest guidance. These tests are legally only allowed to be administered by healthcare professionals using a venous blood sample (blood from a vein). We screen for the presence of IgM & IgG antibodies which indicates if an individual has recently or previously had Covid-19.
Specificity for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2: Specificity is the proportion of patients without antibodies who have a negative test or true negative rate 97.94%
Sensitivity for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2: Sensitivity is the proportion of patients with antibodies who have a positive test or the true positive rate 98.58%
This is the current thinking on Long-Term Immunity – Does It Exist With Covid-19?
A study in the wake of SARS, the similar coronavirus that triggered an epidemic in 2003, showed that survivors maintained neutralizing antibodies for 2 years on average, with the number of antibodies declining thereafter. Other coronaviruses in circulation in the human species also lead to at least partial immunity for some period. The immunity question has implications for whether Covid-19 follows an annual cycle like seasonal influenza or becomes dormant for multiple years and then erupts again, according to a recent publication in the journal Science. The authors noted that 2 other coronaviruses in circulation (OC43 and HKU1), which cause common colds, result in about 45 weeks of immunity on average. If the new virus follows that pattern, it would probably create annual outbreaks, they found.
However, generally speaking, the sicker you become due to an infection and the robust immune system response to it, the more robust the immunity provided. Therefore, one might assume that those people who get the most ill have the longest and most effective immunity after a re-exposure to the same virus. In a study by Callow et al. people volunteered to have coronavirus 229E, which also causes common cold symptoms, inoculated up their nares. 10 became infected, and 8 developed cold symptoms. One year later, all but one of them returned to be reinfected again. Most reinfected, but those who had been ill before did not develop cold symptoms. Moreover, the period during which the patients shed the virus, and were potentially contagious, was shorter. The new virus, SARS-CoV-2, is genetically similar to the first SARS virus—hence the “2”—but it affects people differently. It is not as lethal as the original SARS but is more easily spread (RO is higher). Many people who are infected do not develop symptoms at all and yet can potentially transmit the virus to others.
A very recent report from China that has not yet been peer-reviewed found a wide range of antibodies among people with mild cases of the virus. Most strikingly, younger people had fewer antibodies in the wake of the disease—and 30 percent of those sampled had low levels. Some individuals had no trace of antibodies. That has raised the question of whether a person with a mild or asymptomatic infection, but confirmed by a swab test, might still be susceptible to a second infection. Those with mild disease who do not develop high levels of antibodies may be at increased risk of reinfection, but are not likely to get significant symptoms, although they may be contagious. Therefore, those without antibody production should likely be treated as if they never had the disease from a social distancing perspective, even if they were proven to be positive with swab testing.
At The Whitehall Clinic we have a fair and transparent cancellation/refund policy. Appointments can be cancelled and refunded only if there is a flight cancellation or country lockdown. Please note that we do not take cancellations over the phone. Please email our cancellations team – email@example.com stating your name, appointment date and time and email address.
We can reschedule appointments only if there is capacity available in our booking system. Please email our bookings team – firstname.lastname@example.org stating your name, appointment date and time and email address.
Terms & Conditions
Our testing is not taking vital resources away from the NHS and is fully in line with Public Health England’s (PHE) approach. The best way to overcome the coronavirus is to continue testing and surveillance hence our private programme.
The tests are approved by PHE & MHRA and are fully compliant with government guidelines. Swabs are analysed by our accredited laboratory partner. To contribute with PHE and national testing statistics, our diagnostic partner shares all Covid-19 Antigen test positive results.
As a clinic we always take our staff and clients safety seriously. All our sample takers are fully trained and adhere to strict Personal Protective Equipment and Infection Control Guidance. We strive that your clinic appointment will be on time in order to minimize your time in the clinic.