Home testing allows patients to carry out certain tests at home rather than in the hospital. It is a way for patients to safely take their own sample (a parent or guardian should perform the test for a child) and then send it back to the hospital for processing. Many people prefer doing these tests at home because they can be done in their own time and at their convenience, without having to travel to the hospital.
A member of your healthcare team will talk to you about home testing and if it might work for you. If you decide to go ahead, we will send to you by post all the kit you need, including information on how to do the test and how to return your sample back to us.
Once we have received your sample, we will process your test. If your results need any follow up, your healthcare team will contact you to discuss the outcome and any treatment you might need.
On this web page you will find more information about home testing, including information leaflets and videos showing how to perform the different tests at home.
Patient information leaflets
- How to carry out a capillary blood test
- How to carry out a cough swab test - adults
- How to carry out a cough swab on a child
- How to carry out a faecal (stool) test
- How to carry out a nasal swab - adults
- How to carry out a nasal swab on a child
- How to carry out a sputum test - adults
- How to carry out a sputum test on a child
The videos below give a step-by-step visual guide on how to carry out a test on yourself or your child.
How to take your cough swab
This video explains how to perform a cough swab test.
How to collect your capillary sample
This video explains how to collect a capillary blood sample.
How to take your cough swab
This video explains how to perform a cough swab test on a child.
You can find a list of FAQs on home testing below, alongside contact details of relevant teams in case you have any further questions.
Some of the tests you might usually come into hospital for can also be carried out at home. With home testing, we send out the testing kit to your home, alongside information on how to carry out the test and how to send your sample back to us. Once we have received your sample, we will process your results. If your results require any action, a member of your healthcare team will contact you to discuss.
You will carry out your test using a self-testing kit and follow the step-by-step instructions provided in the information leaflet enclosed. Information leaflets related to home tests will be available to download from this page soon.
Your healthcare team will decide whether home testing will support the management of your care and talk to you to see if it might work for you. It may not be suitable for all conditions, you can discuss any questions you might have with your healthcare team.
Home testing allows you to carry out certain health tests at home, in a comfortable and familiar setting rather than in the hospital. It also avoids you having to travel to the hospital which can save you time.
You will be given a return envelope or box with the postage paid for. If your sample is a capillary sample, you can post this directly into a letter box. If your sample is a cough swab, sputum or nasal sample you need to take it to the post office to return to us. Please refer to the instructions in your kit if you are unsure.
Tests can take between three and five working days to be processed in our laboratory once we receive them. If your results need any follow up, your healthcare team will contact you within 10 working days of us receiving your results. If you are concerned, please contact your healthcare team. Contact information can be found at the bottom of this page.
Yes. Please contact your healthcare team if you have been asked to carry out a home test but are unable to do so. They will be able to arrange for you to come to the hospital to do the test.
A number of our healthcare teams have been running home testing for many years. In the wake of Covid-19, many more of our services have introduced home tests for patients as a way of monitoring them remotely and reducing the number of visits they need to make to the hospital.
If you have any questions about taking the test, if you think you have any kit missing or if you have any other concerns, you can contact us on the numbers below.
If you have any questions about home testing, please contact us using the details below.
Home Testing service
Royal Brompton Hospital
Tel: 020 7352 8121 Ext 88401 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm)
Tel: 0330 128 5086 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm)