COVID-19: Ethical framework for asymptomatic testing of staff in workplaces

Contributors

Many organisations are using or considering asymptomatic COVID-19 testing programmes for staff in their workplaces. This project brought together the findings of a consultation, literature review, and ethical and legal analysis to produce an ethical framework for these kinds of programmes.

Enabled by THIS Institute’s research platform, Thiscovery, we consulted with over 60 people working in an organisation with a testing programme already in place. Their views helped to inform practical recommendations and hypothetical illustrative examples of how they might be put into practice in 8 areas:

  1. Design and operation of the programme
  2. Goals of the programme
  3. Properties of the test(s) selected for the programme
  4. Enabling isolation
  5. Choices regarding participation in the programme
  6. Benefits, harms and their distribution, including opportunity costs
  7. Privacy, confidentiality and data-sharing
  8. Communication

Read the framework Use the checklist Download infographic

We’ll soon be publishing more details about the methods and results of the consultation, and the ethical and legal analysis underpinning the framework.

At a glance

Licensed under Creative Commons

These symbols show that the contents of this page are published under a Creative Commons licence called CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0.

It means that you’re free to reuse this work. In fact, we encourage it. We want our research to reach people who can help improve quality and safety in healthcare. But we do have a few rules:

  • Make sure you acknowledge The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute (THIS Institute) as the creator and link back to this webpage.
  • You can’t sell this work for a fee, or use it for any activity that generates revenue without our permission.
  • Please don’t distribute a modified version to others without our permission.

You can read the fine print about the licence on the Creative Commons website. It’s meant to help us keep the integrity of our work and stay true to our values.

But ultimately we want our work to have impact. So if you’ve got a use in mind but you’re not sure it’s allowed, just ask us at enquiries@thisinstititute.cam.ac.uk