COVID-19: LAMP work placement programme

The National School of Healthcare Science, Institute of Biomedical Science and Royal College of Pathologists have worked collaboratively with NHSE/I to develop a framework for the completion of training to support COVID-19 LAMP testing.

About the LAMP programme

This project is to support suitable third year biomedical science and other relevant laboratory science undergraduates to deliver asymptomatic testing that is already occurring in some parts of the country.

After successful completion of the training and testing, the student will be issued with a Certificate of Completion of COVID-19 LAMP work placement, demonstrating their contribution to the response to COVID-19. Completion may enable some learners to evidence completion of HCPC Standards of Proficiency and the IBMS/HCPC preregistration portfolio if they go on to undertake this.

Find out how to get involved

The importance of testing, isolation and contact tracing for control of SARS-CoV-2 transmission has been highlighted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a critical intervention to prevent the spread of infection and ensuing morbidity and mortality from COVID-19. International efforts have largely focused on the detection of infection in symptomatic individuals as well as evolving clinical testing systems to detect those with asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic (subsequently referred to collectively as asymptomatic) infection that may still be infectious to others.

The technology of choice for this provision to date has been reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction testing (RT-qPCR), typically provided in central laboratory facilities, with a sample receipt to result time of >24hours and reliance on international supply chains for a singular testing system. Considering these challenges, alternative technology approaches are being  evaluated, including other forms of nucleic acid amplification (i.e. Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification [LAMP]) and protein based methods (i.e. Lateral Flow Devices [LFD]) for viral antigen detection, potentially providing diversification to the overall supply chain and options for an integrated testing strategy. These additional testing assets have also been considered in the context of other components of the wider end to end testing system, including the source and ease of sample collection and frequency of provision (saliva v swab), RNA extraction requirements, and efficiency of returning results from a testing system into a clinical system for full maximal clinical utility, public health reporting and intervention requirements.

This Essential skills pack has been designed to support the training of individuals to work in Laboratories offering LAMP assays as part of the Asymptomatic NHS Staff testing programme. There is an agreed position between the NSHCS, IBMS, RCPath and NHS E and I that the completion of the essential skills programme will result in the award of a joint ‘Certificate of Achievement and Completion’ recognised by all parties towards either the registration portfolio, place based learning and or Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

To take up this opportunity to contribute to the national response to COVID-19 please contact Steve Peet, National Testing Programme – NHS Test and Trace, for information on laboratories offering LAMP testing in your region.