Author Topic: Office Of national Statistics  (Read 407 times)

xetog

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Office Of national Statistics
« on: Apr 27, 2020, 11:30:10 AM »
Like many others, I have for years been on the list of those helping the ONS with their surveys.  Sometimes it's an annual thing, others its a short email questionnaire or a brief one-or-two question phone call.  They are always extremely nice people and I am happy to share some data with them.

A few days ago I received a letter inviting me and anyone in my household who wanted to participate to join in the National Coronavirus Study that has been set up by the ONS and the University of Oxford and gave a phone contact number.  I got my call back today and have arranged for the first visit on Thursday.

There are a number of alternative levels of involvement, but The basic level is a visit once a week for a month to take nose and throat swabs.  The second level is to continue this once a month for a year.  the third level seems to providing blood samples on the same basis as the swabs.  It seems interesting and I will be going for all 3 levels if they agree, whereas my wife will only go for the swabs.  The swabs/blood will be taken by a trained nurse suitably PPE'd.  I have no idea how much PPE, but we have warned the neighbours not to worry if the see someone in full hazmat gear entering the house!

If anyone is interested, I will keep this post updated during the process.

Mike.X

 
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Walter

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Re: Office Of national Statistics
« Reply #1 on: Apr 27, 2020, 11:43:07 AM »
That would be good thank you
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klondike

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Re: Office Of national Statistics
« Reply #2 on: Apr 27, 2020, 01:41:31 PM »
I'll be interest too Mike.

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GrannyMac

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Re: Office Of national Statistics
« Reply #3 on: Apr 27, 2020, 02:23:50 PM »
Please do.
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Alex22

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Re: Office Of national Statistics
« Reply #4 on: Apr 27, 2020, 04:02:39 PM »
A yes please from me too

mick607

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Re: Office Of national Statistics
« Reply #5 on: Apr 27, 2020, 05:17:03 PM »
And me too.
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xetog

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Re: Office Of National Statistics
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2020, 01:25:09 PM »
For those of you still interested.  We had an appointment for 1st May to get us up and running, but it was cancelled.  At 10.45 today (7th May) we got a call from a nurse asking if we were OK with our appointment today (what appointment?) and that she was about 30 mins away.  Where have we got to go?  We agreed and were pleased that she arrived on time.  I have gone for the swabs and blood whilst my wife having small veins has gone for swabs only. It turns out that we are the first in the area to undergo the tests.  The nurse, dressed in a normal mask and a thin plastic apron came in and described what she would be doing.  She needed a place to wash her hands, no problem as we had already equipped our cloakroom with a separate towel.  We had a form to fill out which seemed to be poorly designed (eg date of birth, normally DD/MM/YYYY had 9 boxes to fill) and all of the identifiers had bar codes which the nurse had to fill in with the lengthy identifier number when the tablet she was provided with could have easily incorporated a bar code reader, a big area for error I would think.  But one the one-off admin was done we were allowed to swab ourselves under her supervision and she took the blood expertly.  The whole experience took an hour, so less than we thought and a new appointment was made for next Thursday.

Mike.X

PS, the previous appointment was cancelled because the tablet and other essential equipment had not arrived.
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xetog

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Re: Office Of national Statistics
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2020, 01:35:25 PM »
Oops, I forgot something.  The swab was about 12cm long and had the swab material one end only, but the test tube with preservative in it was only about half the length, so the swab stick had to be broken at a weakened area about half way along.  Not difficult, but even then the top would not screw on the open end of the tube to prevent the liquid spilling out.  I had to chop another 10mm off the end of the swab to get it to fit.  It was quite hard to do because the stick is very tough plastic and the cut end shot across the room like a bullet!  dangerous if it caught someone in the eye.

Mike.X
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Michael Rolls

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Re: Office Of national Statistics
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2020, 02:08:30 PM »
Can't we get anything bloody well right?
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xetog

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Re: Office Of national Statistics
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2020, 02:38:41 PM »
Clearly done in a rush without testing in the field.

Mike.X
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Walter

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Re: Office Of national Statistics
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2020, 05:11:44 PM »
As I understand it Swab sticks are meant to break so only the end with your sample goes in the tube, not the bit held by the tester to avoid contamination of you sample.
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Ashy

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Re: Office Of national Statistics
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2020, 06:06:16 PM »
There must be some concern if the stick needs to be cut, what are you supposed to cut it with. I don't keep sterile wire cutters myself, few would.
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xetog

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Re: Office Of national Statistics
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2020, 05:33:48 PM »
Update. 14/05/2020.  The nurse phoned 30 mins before to confirm and this time declared she would not be taking blood as they were being changed to monthly.  Apparently this was because they were having problems getting the samples back to the lab in time.  This was good as my arm was still pretty bruised from last time.  The swabs were still too long, but I was armed with a robust pair of nail clippers.  The plastic was hard and the quarter-inch bits chopped off the end went across the kitchen like bullets! Still taking too long to do a simple operation as too many code numbers to be entered by the nurse, but the whole process took about 20mins.  I asked whether our previous tests were negative, the nurse said they must be as we would have been notified if they were not (logical I suppose).

Update 20/05/2020.  No not 21st as should have been because a lady rang to ask if it was OK to visit at 10.15 (40 mins. away.) a day early.  Unfortunately this was about the time our food delivery arrives so she was told OK, but she would have to wait if we were in the process of unloading.  As it happened she was about 10 mins later than the delivery  and we had put all the fresh and frozen stuff away.  I am not sure this lady was even a nurse although she did have an NHS ID.  She wore no PPE and did not want to come into the house.  Instead she handed us a plastic bag each and inside was a swab, test tube with clear liquid and a form.  We just had to take the swabs ourselves (at least the test tubes were longer and the swabs did not have to be cut.  The bag had a pocket to the side which contained a form we each had to fill out with our name and date of birth, check 3 boxes basically asking if we had suffered any symptoms since last time, date and sign.  We handed them back and she was off. less than 5 mins all told.  A bit impersonal, but more concerning, less thorough.

As an aside, we each received a £50 shopping voucher from the ONS a couple of days ago, which will be converted into money in our bank account by paying for our food shop and the money saved from the bank account will go to carefully chosen charities.

Mike.X
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Alex22

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Re: Office Of national Statistics
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2020, 06:12:52 PM »
Dear oh dear can we get anything to run smoothly ?    I've heard the throat swabs are rather unpleasant Mike, was that the case  ?

Sorry I got that wrong it was the nasal swab.

xetog

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Re: Office Of national Statistics
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2020, 09:04:05 AM »
Not really Alex.  The swab is taken in the throat and then both nostrils (same swab).  This did put me off a bit at first, but I soon got over that.  The swab is like a big Q tip which you push carefully into the throat until a gagging sensation is felt, twisting the swab to collect mucus, then push into each nostril until slight resistance is felt, twirling the swab at the same time.

Not exactly what I would have chosen, but if the data collected is useful, it is worth it.

Mike.X
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