The Doctors here have noticed a number of patients that seem to have mixed information regarding when to use lateral flow tests and when to get a PCR tests Below is a short explanation of the differences:
WHEN SHOULD I HAVE A LATERAL FLOW TEST?
You should only have this test if you don’t have any symptoms
These tests are very different from PCR tests. They are not suitable for diagnosing individual patients who suspect they may be infected because they have symptoms.
People with symptoms need a PCR test. Lateral flow tests are intended for picking up additional infected cases who would otherwise be missed because they don’t have symptoms.
WHEN SHOULD I HAVE A PCR TEST?
If you currently have symptoms that may indicate Covid-19, this the test you should have to diagnose the infect. Or if the lateral flow test is positive. The PCR test is to confirm the diagnosis and is more accurate. You can book a PCR test by calling NHS 119 or https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test