Patient testing for COVID-19

To ensure we are caring for all of our patients who come into UHS we have introduced a swabbing for COVID-19 as part of the pre-assessment procedure. You will be given more information about this as part of your contact with your medical team but this page is designed to give you an idea of what the swab test involves and what you can expect to happen. Please see our patient information factsheet or speak to your clinician if you have any further questions.

Where do I go for my swab?

Swabbing for patients takes place at designated facilities at Southampton General Hospital or Adanac Park. They are drive-through facilities, so there's no need to park.

Southampton General Hospital

Directions: Drive to the Coxford Road entrance to the hospital site (if the hospital is on your left it, will be the second entry road on your left, if the hospital is on your right, it will be the first entry road to your right) and follow the route that drives around the multi storey car park on the left. Keep following the route and you will see a portacabin outside the West Wing entrance to the hospital, near the ambulance parking bay. The portacabin has orange barriers in front of it and there will be someone to direct you in a high vis jacket standing nearby.

See the Southampton General drive-through testing facility on a map

This member of staff will check your name on the list of booked swab appointments. When you arrive, it is essential that you remain inside your car with the windows closed and await instructions. Under no circumstances should anyone arrive on foot or leave their car.

Adanac Park

Directions: If you are approaching from the direction of Southampton General Hospital, drive past David Lloyd on your right, through the traffic lights and at the next roundabout take the third exit, marked Adanac Park. Continue to the next roundabout, then take the first exit into the ‘Park and Ride’.

If you are coming off Junction 1 of the M271, take the exit towards Adanac Park. Stay in the left hand lane and at the next roundabout take the second exit towards Adanac Park. Continue to the next roundabout, then take the first exit into the ‘Park and Ride’.

When you arrive, there will be someone at the gate to meet you, check your name and direct you where to go.

See the Adanac Park drive-through testing facility on a map

When you arrive, it is essential that you remain inside your car with the windows closed and await instructions. Under no circumstances should anyone arrive on foot or leave their car.

What happens when I get swabbed?

When instructed, drive forward to where the nurse taking your COVID swab is standing. They will give you some instructions and talk you through the process. You will need to wind down your car window at this point and the nurse will verify your details and take the swab. When they do the swab, samples will be taken from your throat then your nose. Please avoid eating for an hour or two prior to testing, and bring a bottle of water in case you would like a drink after your swab.

When do I get swabbed?

We are advising all our patients to carefully self-isolate for 14 days (or as advised by your clinical team) before their admission date (except where your treatment needs to be done more urgently). This is to reduce the risk of picking up coronavirus (COVID-19) infection before your operation or procedure.

Your swab will usually be taken 24 to 48 hours before your planned admission. For some patients (such as those having a colonoscopy), we may take the swab up to 72 hours before admission.

How do I find out my results?

Test results will be communicated to you by the clinical team – usually within 24 hours depending on the time of day you are tested. If your test is negative, your procedure can go ahead provided you remain well. If you are unwell, your test is positive or you have been in contact with someone who has possible coronavirus, please discuss with your clinical team so they can make a decision about whether to proceed or postpone your planned procedure.

I might have symptoms, what do I do?

If you test positive for COVID-19 or have the symptoms below, you should not come to the hospital for your planned admission or outpatient appointment unless you have discussed this with your clinician or admissions co-ordinator.

Symptoms of coronavirus include new onset cough, fatigue, sudden loss of taste and smell, high temperature but also diarrhoea and vomiting and new onset joint pains.