Despite the national lockdown earlier on in the year, Cansford Labs has remained operational throughout COVID-19 - albeit with some adaptations to the way we operate. These changes, though, have not resulted in a drop in service levels: 90% of results have been turned around in 24 hours from arrival at our office - a feat which has been completely unmatched by any competitor during lockdown, and continues to be the case.
With new local lockdowns being announced almost every week, and a new three-tiered lockdown system now implemented, our activity during the pandemic proves that drug and alcohol testing can still be carried out, even during the most challenging of circumstances.
To ensure that this happens, we have changed our operating procedures in a number of areas, allowing us to create a business continuity procedure that means drug and alcohol testing can still be carried out accurately, reliably and safely. Here’s how things have changed.
PPE and sanitisation
Appropriate PPE and high levels of sanitisation have been crucial in ensuring that we can continue to operate. Our collections team have all been fully equipped with the relevant PPE required to safely carry out their work, in line with government guidelines for sample collection. This - along with the strict hygiene protocols that we have put in place, as well as the social distancing guidelines that they must observe where possible (for example, when completing documents) ensures that both collector and donor are kept safe.
Combatting new working situations and self-isolation
COVID-19 has provided us with two locational challenges when it comes to sample collection:
- Working from home: meaning that the locations normally used for sample collection have not always been a viable collection location since March
- Self-isolation: meaning that taking samples from those classed as vulnerable or those self-isolating due to COVID symptoms/contact with a person who has tested positive cannot occur at the required time.
Our usual practice is to collect from the client’s office - and we are still able to do this. Clients have felt safe in allowing this approach due to the strict protocols we have in place.
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However, we can also collect from the donor’s home or from a serviced office, hired room, or GP/healthcare facility. Collectors who visit donors’ homes have undergone specialist training for the safeguarding of both themselves and donors alike. They also carry letters as evidence that they are required to work and commute as key workers.
Our laboratory was one of the few drug and alcohol testing labs that remained fully operational during national lockdown, thanks to our strict adherence to government guidelines. This has meant that anyone contacting Cansford Labs during COVID-19 has been able to speak directly with a member of our team, whether to raise a query, get a quote, book a collection, or speak with a senior reporting scientist about a specific sample.
Throughout, our lab has operated with strict social distancing control, and has been processing all samples collected during COVID-19, with the same commitment to accuracy, reliability and speed as ever.
"It has not meant that we have needed to compromise on quality and delivery times."
Over the entire period of lockdown, more than 90% of drug and alcohol testing results have been made available within one working day of arrival at our laboratory. While processes may have changed to ensure the safety of everyone involved, it has not meant that we have needed to compromise on quality and delivery times.
With lockdown - and COVID-19 generally - leading to fears that drug and alcohol misuse may be an increasingly growing problem, it is vital that testing continues in a way that is as close to “normality” as possible. Our business continuity procedures, which we developed right at the start of national lockdown, ensure that even if local and potentially national lockdowns continue, we are still able to operate safely and reliably, giving both our clients and sample donors peace of mind.
Looking to book a drug or alcohol test? Get in touch.
Featured image via Pixabay
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