COVID-19 lateral flow device distribution service

Closed 2 Sep 2022

Opened 11 Aug 2021


COVID-19 lateral flow antigen tests allow the detection of people with high levels of the COVID-19 virus, making them effective in identifying individuals who are most likely to transmit the virus, including those not showing symptoms. With up to a third of infected individuals not displaying symptoms, broadening asymptomatic testing is essential. Increased use of lateral flow devices (LFD) can help identify more people who are highly likely to spread the virus, and therefore break the chain of transmission.

Research by NHS Test and Trace into routine mass testing shows participants prefer to access testing in the community. Pharmacists are trusted by their local communities and unfamiliar new points of access are less trusted.

Department of Health NI is making lateral flow devices (LFD) available for collection from community pharmacies.

To comply with Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) product recall provisions, on receipt of cartons of LFD test kits from wholesalers, pharmacy contractors must make a record of the following, which is retained for 6 months from the date on which the stock was delivered:

  • Point of Supply
  • LOT Number (e.g. A1234567)
  • Quantity of cartons (xx Cartons)
  • Date of receipt (DD/MM/YY)

In line with local product recall provisions this record must also be submitted electronically to the HSCB at the time that stock is received into the pharmacy


  • Health professionals


  • Provision of health and social care services