Author: Dr Mark Ali MBBS BSc FRCS CTh, Medical Director


To make this happen, the Private Harley Street Clinic will supply and administer COVID-19 tests and provide vital advice to organisations on their return to work. It is our aim to safeguard the health and well-being of employees, clients and customers. We want to ensure that workplaces are as safe as possible, and that they support physical and mental well-being.  

Dr Mark Ali, Medical Director of the Private Harley Street Clinic, and a Cardiothoracic Surgeon of 30 years’ experience, says: 

"Understanding the COVID-19 status of employees is absolutely crucial to big business. We are able to turn tests around fast and efficiently within 24 hours. We have the infrastructure to send nurses and clinicians to people’s homes all over the country, or into large office complexes to test an entire company.” 

COVID-19 clinical testing services available

COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) IgG Antibody test

Central to our COVID-19 testing is the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) IgG Antibody Test, which will be carried out by the medical experts and clinicians of Private Harley Street Clinic. 

The antibody test looks for evidence of an immune response to COVID-19, which occurs in someone who has been exposed to the virus and has produced antibodies.

The aim of the antibody test is to answer the question: have I been exposed to COVID-19 previously and produced an immune response? The presence of antibodies tells our clinicians that an employee has been previously exposed to Covid-19. 

How our team carries out the antibody test

The antibody test requires a blood test taken by one of our medical professionals. This can be done at one of our practices or we can arrange for it to take place at the patient’s home, the employer’s place of business or a suitable location elsewhere.

It is important to note that an antibody test cannot indicate if you are immune to COVID-19, or whether or not the virus can be spread to other people. However, research into COVID-19 has shown that antibody development correlates with a marked decrease in viral load in the respiratory tract, which could reduce the chance of further spreading. 

COVID-19 PCR Antigen test

If a member of your organisation needs to travel overseas or return to work, a COVID-19 PCR Antigen test will need to be carried out.

The PCR Antigen test will detect the presence of COVID-19 genetic material, and should ideally be taken from symptomatic individuals between days 1-5 from symptom onset. As the chances of detecting the virus are highest in those first few symptomatic days, it is vital that a PCR Antigen test is made if someone in your organisation reports symptoms. The virus can be detected later, but we recommend swift action in this area.

The aim of the PCR Antigen test is to answer the question: Am I carrying coronavirus right now? It tests for fragments of COVID-19 on the swab, which tell our clinicians whether or not an individual currently harbours the virus.

How our team carries out the PCR Antigen test

Our team will request that the individual takes a swab from the nose and throat (the PCR test does not require a medical professional to be present at the time). Home test kits can be sent to a patient for them to conduct the test themself. Alternatively, we can arrange for it to take place at the patients home, the employer’s place of business or a suitable location elsewhere.

If someone in your organisation experiences symptoms, they and their household must isolate according to government guidelines and should wait for the test kit to arrive.

Our recommended return to work clinical testing strategy

The below information outlines the steps your organisation must take to ensure your workplace is safe for everyone. It is a four-stage process which must be followed closely. 

Stage one 

Initial PCR Antigen testing

The process begins with PCR Antigen test. All employees are required to undergo a PCR Antigen test to detect the presence of COVID-19 genetic material. If the patient returns a negative result and displays no symptoms, they are categorised as low risk and can return to work. If the patient returns a positive result, they must continue to self-isolate and wait to be re-tested in 7 day increments until cleared. 

Stage two

Antibody testing

Those who received a negative PCR Antigen test should then be put under Antibody testing. All of your employees must undergo the COVID-19 Antibody test to ascertain their level of risk, as laid out in our Antibody section. If an employee tests positive to having developed antibodies then they are assumed to be lower risk, whereas if an employee returns a negative test then they present a higher risk because they are still susceptible to COVID-19 exposure.

Stage three

Ongoing PCR Antigen testing

The third stage of the process involves further PCR Antigen testing for employees that have not yet developed antibodies from previous exposure to COVID-19. These employees require further testing because of their ongoing susceptibility to the virus.

Stage four

Protocol in the event of an employee displaying symptoms of COVID-19 

Public Health England released guidelines on 11th May 2020, detailing the process for an employee displaying symptoms. Private Harley Street Clinic recommends adhering to these guidelines in conjunction with the above clinical strategy. For more information concerning these guidelines, please click the link below.

Advice for Symptomatic Workers

Here to support your organisation

As we make our way through these difficult times, Private Harley Street Clinic would like to reassure you and your staff that you are in expert hands with our medical clinicians. Your long-awaited return to work can be made in complete confidence.

Efforts are being made everywhere, and we are all in this together. Not only does the Imperial College of London suggest that testing healthcare workers once weekly would reduce transmission by a further 16-23% on top of self-isolation, the Premier League has reassured players with extensive tests made twice weekly. The key to moving forward is rigorous testing, and we’re here to support that by working with employers to implement a bespoke strategy based on their organisation’s risk and feasibility.

Contact us to discuss your company’s return to work

Our role at Private Harley Street Clinic is to form part of your return to work strategy and ensure organisations make the workplace safe as possible. 

Please provide your details and a representative will contact you to discuss a return to work COVID-19 clinical strategy.