By Marta Kalas, Thomson Screening

Covid testing is a vital part of our ongoing fight to stop the pandemic.  Given this it is time for the Government to help reduce the administrative burden on SMEs, as well as schools and other organisations and make it easier to digitally bulk upload COVID testing data.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has, for example, urged businesses and employees to take up the offer of free lateral flow test kit to “stop this virus spreading”.

At Thomson Screening we 100% support the move to help organisations test their staff, but it needs to be easy and quick for employers and staff to administer.

At the moment, that’s not the case. SME’s are required to keep their own records of the tests carried out and then they need to manually enter the data into NHS Test & Trace. This means duplication of information and time. It’s estimated that it takes around six extra minutes to add the data for each person tested. Even for businesses with a small team, this is an unnecessary waste of time.

Most SMEs keep digital records already, so emphasis needs to be placed on allowing digital information flows instead of direct manual data entry – which is slow and prone to error.

Although the option for digitally bulk uploading all registrations and tests has recently become available, the process has not been publicised and is difficult to access. For example, the information businesses need in order to use this option is not included in the user guides. Based on our experience helping SMEs with their testing administration, we’re hearing that many are finding it incredibly difficult to access the service and are using valuable time having to manually duplicate data.

We believe that Matt Hancock and the Government to provide a much more modern and user-friendly process of providing results in bulk. This would be a win-win, for business and the government.


Marta Kalas is co-founder of Thomson Screening, which provides software to automate and manage health screening within schools and workplaces. Its technology platform, ‘WorkScreener COVID Manager’ delivers automated and scalable administration of large scale COVID-19 testing including staff/patient feedback and outcome analytics.