Accessing Lateral Flow Tests

Good luck to everyone finding free tests

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Thank you @Alice_BloodCancerUK for saying that your policy team at BCUK are looking into this and thank you @2DB for the useful information from Community Pharmacy England.

Also that’s really useful to know @nelletap that we can now report results from any test (not just the free ones) - thank you for that. As you suggest, I’ve been going from pharmacy to pharmacy. As a result, I’ve discovered that Woolls in my local area has some. Hooray! They had only just arrived and the pharmacist had no information about how often we can collect them so she gave me two boxes and said come back again.

I was surprised that Boots (albeit a small branch) had no knowledge if they would be participating in the scheme however they sell boxes of 4 tests for £10 which is marginally less expensive than paying £2.50 per test in most chemists and they currently have a Black Friday deal of 1 test for £1.75

Hopefully the situation will soon smooth out albeit entirely frustrating and not ideal in the run-up to Christmas. Good luck everyone with finding participating pharmacies in your area,


I just wanted to offer some reassurance about covid services. I am poorly with covid for the third time - an absolute nightmare I had so much to do this weekend, my tree to put up ,Christmas shopping ,moving prep for relocating my husband’s parents next week and I’ve not moved off the sofa - But I just wanted to offer some reassurance and give a huge shout out out to the support I got again from our amazing NHS.I know some people are worried that covid support seems to have disappeared it really hasn’t.
I got so much support yesterday from various callers from the hospital, from 111 , to the assessment call , the prescribing call and then pharmacies and then the covid support. They were /are amazing. I do so hate it when nhs is knocked from the time I checked in my positive test to my call back just been lovely- they will call me now every day for next ten to check my oxygen and I am getting antiviral medication. So hopefully I will soon be better. The service was exceptional and no different than in the height of the pandemic.
There is a light at the end of every tunnel the last two Christmas days have been blighted by covid it has come early at least .


We just wanted to flag to those who may be unaware, that some pharmacies have updated their profiles to indicate that they’re providing free lateral flow tests - Find a pharmacy - NHS (
You can search pharmacies using your postcode, then select ‘Treatments and Services’ and scroll down to see if ‘COVID-19 lateral flow tests (eligible NHS patients)’ is listed under 'Screening and test services.’


Thank you, this is really helpful to work out which pharmacies are taking part.


Just checking this only applies to England doesn’t it? I used link and it says it had to be town/postcode in England. Thanks!

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Thank you for that update, very helpful

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I think that you are right that it is only England @judesadventures but best to check it out with someone more knowledgeable than me!!!
A healthy, peaceful you you and your @judesadventures and lots of love xxxx

Hi @judesadventures, yes sorry I should have specified, this tool is just England.
We have some info on our website here for the other nations -

Accessing free tests in Scotland

You can order free covid tests from the NHS Scotland portal.

Accessing free tests in Wales

In Wales, continue to order free lateral flow tests from or by calling 119.

Accessing free tests in Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, you should be able to collect free lateral flow tests from your local pharmacy. It may help to take a letter or email showing that you are eligible for covid treatments. See the advice for England above.


Went to my GP/Med Centre today for admin.
Whilst there I went to the inhouse pharmacy and enquired to if they are participating in the scheme for immunosuppressed.
They are not. A large regional Centre in a large and expanding market town with an aged population. The pharmacist didn’t think any other pharmacies in town, of which there are several are participating either.

He said that I could find participants on the NHS App. Not that I can see, unless you guys know different.

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Hi @Iain
Here is the link @Alice_BloodCancerUK gave us 3 days ago and it works for me.
Find a pharmacy - NHS (
2 days ago she gave us details about for the other UK regions above.
I hope this helps, if not please do come back
Good luck

Hi Erica and thanks for your support on this matter of relevance to us all.

The down side is that finding Pharmacies is comparatively easy e.g. NHS App, Garmin and even Alexa. The missing data is a register of those Pharmacies taking part in the scheme for those of use as prescribed as vulnerable.

It’s still a ‘blind trawl’ on the phone or an expensive tour of the Country.

Someone in the unorganised world of Government and stats/ONC has a register/spreadsheet of the participants (I know - I’m being naive).

We have AI data all over the world and we still can’t find Lateral Flow Tests ?!

One for you most valuable groups (CRUK, BC, Leukemia UK, Lymphoma UK etc etc) to demand an answer from the Secretaries for Health of the UK Governments !?

To be clear my own current enquiry is one of preparedness as I still hold a small stock but I know thats not the case for so many out there on the ‘Prescribed List’ whatever their morbidity.

Again many thanks Erica and now where’s Professor Chris Whitty’s phone number?


Hi @iain i have just been and got tests from boots and was assured that all boots are providing.


Hi Derma,
As the young 'uns say “a big up” to you. Thanks :+1:t2:


Hi @Iain I bet Prof Chris Whitty is ex directory if that category still exists.!!

So true. Do you think that addressing to:-

The Big Cheese
Gresham College
Somewhere in London

might get him? If not I’m sure his mate Rishi has his number.

Unfortunately my local Boots has no knowledge of the scheme, nor have any local chemists. Yet another “system” put in place in theory but not in practice. Any tips on how to get hold of free tests would be welcome.


Hi @KBull I believe some people have resorted to ringing round the pharmacies on the list first to check, as opposed to going to them.
Good Luck

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Try your local integrated care board

@KBull So sorry to hear that. I live in South Somerset and the pharmacist i spoke to didn’t have the firms yet to fill in for the LFT’s so he took a note of my info but he was very sure they were all going to do it. I asked because it was in a different Boots to my local one. Norma