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Guidance on COVID-19 treatments

Find out whether you are eligible for COVID-19 treatments.

What is the BCUHB COVID-19 Antiviral service?

NHS patients who are at greater risk from COVID-19 may be eligible for COVID-19 treatment at home through the BCUHB Antiviral Service.

NHS Wales initially commissioned the National Antiviral Service Cymru (NAVS) in response to the significant impact COVID-19 had on population health and healthcare systems. Treatment for COVID-19 became available for people who are not in hospital, but who are considered at highest risk of becoming severely ill and being admitted to hospital. It is recommended that these treatments are started within 5 days from the start of your symptoms to be of most benefit.

In Wales, these treatments are supplied via your Local Health Board.

Who is eligible to receive these treatments?

Treatment for COVID-19 is available for individuals who are not in hospital but who are considered at highest risk of becoming severely ill and being admitted to hospital. This will include some people, but not everyone who was advised to shield during the pandemic. Some people who were previously shielding now have a much lower risk of severe disease following COVID-19 vaccination.

The highest risk group includes people who fall under the following categories:

  • Down’s syndrome and other genetic disorders
  • Certain types of cancer and those who received cancer treatments within the last 12 months (chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery)
  • Certain conditions affecting the blood or have received a haematological stem cell transplant
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 4 or 5 or kidney transplant
  • A severe liver condition (such as cirrhosis or liver transplant)
  • Had an organ transplant
  • Certain autoimmune or inflammatory conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease) who may be receiving certain medications
  • Conditions that affect breathing (including those with asthma who have taken medicines that makes them more likely to get infections, or COPD)
  • An impaired immune system due to either a condition or certain medications
  • HIV or AIDS
  • A rare neurological condition (such as multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, motor neurone disease or myasthenia gravis)
  • Care home residents, aged 70 years and over

Where to access lateral flow tests?

From the 1st of February 2024, you will no longer be able to order lateral flow tests online via the ‘order lateral flow tests’ portal. Instead, tests should be collected from participating community pharmacies. Please search for the participating pharmacies in your local area via the NHS111 website - NHS 111 Wales - Pharmacies.

What to do if you test positive for COVID-19

From the 1st of February 2024, you will no longer be able to report your lateral flow tests result on the ‘results reporting’ portal. Instead, positive results should be reported directly via the online self-referral portal - COVID-19 Antiviral Self-Referral Form or for people who cannot access the online portal, by calling NHS111.



How will I be contacted?

Once the referral is completed, we will contact you as per current processes. This will usually be within 48 hours, but may take longer at weekends and on bank holidays. Treatment will be arranged for you if considered appropriate.

Please note our service is currently staffed from Monday to Friday within working hours.