Antibody testing video from Dr Tom Davis

Video transcript: Dr Tom Davis, Medical Director 

I just wanted to spend a few minutes talking about antibody testing.

Firstly, what a fantastic effort it was over the last three days, 2343 staff and volunteers have had the antibody test and we’re hopeful the results will be available from today.

I just want to recognise the hard work and effort that everyone has put into this, from the project team, the contact centre team, the blood takers themselves and the logistics teams that transported the tests around the region to our partner labs across the region. I can’t be more proud of what we’ve managed to achieve in such a short period of time.

I just wanted to update everyone on the next steps. So we’re going to take a break today and tomorrow, this will enable us to evaluate the process, iron out any problems that may or may not have occurred over the weekend, to make sure that we have got enough equipment and blood takers for the next phase of the project. The contact centre will make sure that all of those you that have approached us requesting a test over the last three days but yet haven’t had one, will have one booked in commencing again on Wednesday and the plan at the moment is to have available tests from Wednesday through the week until we’ve offered everyone that wants a test from our staff and volunteer groups.

I’ll talk a little bit about results.  We’re hopeful that today, we’ll start to receive the results from our partner labs and we’re very grateful that they were able to work with us over the weekend to take and process the tests.

Inevitably a very small number of you will find that your sample was unable to be processed, this is a very small number and we will prioritise you having a retest.

Otherwise as I’ve said, all of those of you who have already requested will be booked in and please if you haven’t already requested then there will be an opportunity to continue to the booking service.

If I just say a little bit about what the results mean, and obviously I’m really grateful for everyone’s efforts including those that have had the test because this will enable us to support the wider NHS and Public Health England in analysing who may or may not have had Covid 19 over the recent months. Inevitably there will be a personal interest for all of you as well but it is important that you take the results in the context that they are being given.   

A positive antibody test does not mean that you wont get Covid 19 again. What it does mean is that your body has mounting a immune response on the assumption that at some point you have come across the virus. It is really important therefore that you still maintain all of the precautions that you are taking for both yourselves and our patients, both at work and at home. So, if you have antibodies, it’s no guarantee that you wont get Covid 19 again, there’s no guarantee that you wont transmit it to friends, family and patients. So please continue to do what you’ve always been doing which is working hard to maintain safety, reduce transmission and more importantly keep yourself and our patients safe.

Once again a big thank you to everyone and wish you all a good day.

Published 1st June 2020

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