Back in August 2020, we were approached by University College London to assist with national collections blood samples as part of their Virus Watch household study of COVID-19 in England and Wales.
The Virus Watch study is run by University College London in conjunction with the NHS. Most of what we understand about the virus is based on statistics of individuals who have been hospitalised, with little to no data from milder or asymptomatic cases. To understand the virus better, the study will follow-up a large sample of households around the country to learn how the virus spreads and what influences it (risk factors). For example, different age groups, previous medical conditions, occupations, ethnic minority groups and vaccinated vs non-vaccinated.
The study is asking thousands of households to take part by completing regular online surveys and inviting a subset of people to receive tests for immunity and swab tests when they have symptoms to tell if they have caught COVID-19.
We have been supporting the Virus Watch with their investigations by providing a reliable solution for courier collections of chilled blood samples from over 70 clinics and surgeries around the country. Once collected, we consolidated and delivered all the samples through the night to their testing laboratory in central London.
In addition, we are providing a storage, fulfilment and collation service in our Fareham warehouse for all 70 clinics to supply them with their blood taking equipment, and we provided a top up supply service to them throughout the blood taking period.
We are also providing a storage, fulfilment and collation service for the home study swab kits. So far, 6,500 kits have been collated and sent from our warehouse.
For us, this opportunity proved how important logistics are, particularly in the context of a global pandemic, and resulted in the recruitment and training of a number of new colleagues. As well as providing expert logistic solutions and taking on addition vehicles in order to provide our dedicated courier solution to maintain the ongoings of the study.
We are proud to be a part of this Urgent Public Health study of national importance with the University College of London. Dr Jana Kovar, the Virus Watch Study Manager shared:
“We work with 2 teams at Vision Logistics – one team delivers a clinical courier service and the other manages all our warehousing and logistics needs. Everyone we work with at Vision is extremely professional, they have a can-do attitude to all our requests which is refreshing and they are always available to troubleshoot and problem solve should a problem arise. They are a pleasure to work with! We have recommended them to our colleagues at UCL for their research projects.”
Virus Watch Healthcare Fulfilment Summary:
- 6,500 at home swab kits stored, fulfilled and collated from our warehouse.
- Overnight courier solutions of chilled blood samples from over 70 clinics and surgeries around the country to the UCL testing lab in London.
- Virus Watch has so far recruited over 46,000 people in more than 20,000 households across England and Wales.
- Results from the study will help governments and public health agencies around the world to decide on the best ways to minimise the harms from COVID-19.
- Learn more about the Virus Watch study.