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Adapting to COVID-19 – An Interview with Sample Collector Beverly Lyford

At Lextox, we pride ourselves on the expertise of our Sample Collectors. Our network of UK wide Collectors are an integral aspect of the whole sample analysis process. To ensure the analysis is right first time, it is imperative the sample collection is right first time.

COVID-19 and lockdown affected every service provider across the UK and our business was no different. Together with our laboratory team, for our Sample Collectors, working from home wasn’t an option – our front line service delivery team, it was important that we equip them with the tools to carry out collections safely and in line with government guidelines. We caught up with Sample Collector, Beverly Lyford, to find out how her role has changed in the last 6 months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

How long have you worked for Lextox Drug & Alcohol Testing?

I have been with Lextox for just over 3 years.

What does your job as a Sample Collector involve?

I am part of a team of Sample Collectors that are specifically trained in the collection of biological samples (hair, blood and DNA) and strict chain of custody procedures.

How has your role changed as a result of COVID-19?  

Before lockdown I was averaging 400-500 miles a week, since April I am now averaging 800-1,000 miles per week, driven by a 60% increase in sample collection appointments.

During the UK wide lockdown, I found that I was receiving more requests for collections in donor’s homes, instead of solicitors or local authority offices.

What new safety measures are in place? 

For the safety of staff, clients and donors Lextox has equipped all Sample Collectors with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), which includes a white gown, goggles, gloves and a face mask. During the summer the hot weather made this challenging, all clients have nevertheless been appreciative of the PPE.

We have also introduced a series of questions we ask on arrival at sample collection appointments around the health of the donor and any witnesses attending. It’s important we are aware of any situations where donors are self-isolating, experiencing any symptoms of coronavirus or if they have been diagnosed with the virus.

What are you looking forward to as COVID restrictions ease?

I’m looking forward to returning to my regular solicitor’s and local authority offices to see familiar faces and spending more quality time with my friends and family.

For more information, or to arrange a sample collection please email [email protected] or call 029 2048 4141.

Published 21/09/20 – All information correct at time of publication