Went for a COVID-19 antibody test today and experienced the otherworldlininess of a health service you have to pay for.
A friend of mine told me that Bupa were offering the tests for £65 and you can get the result in a couple of days.
Like a lot of people I wouldn’t be at all surprised that I’ve had the dreaded Rona. For a few days in January I was laid low with a temperature and a cough that persisted for far longer than you would normally expect.
I’m not sure what I’ll do with the knowledge that I either have or haven’t had coronavrirus but I think it’s worth knowing.
I’ll perhaps be a little less worried about catching it and more willing to use public transport – am thinking trains and planes.
The online blurb about the test was very clear about what it does and doesn’t do.
The test you have booked is a COVID-19 Antibody test. The test will tell you if you have previously had COVID-19. It will not tell if you are currently infected or not. If you have had symptoms of COVID-19, it should be completed more than 14 days after symptoms began. If your result shows that you have previously had COVID-19 this does not guarantee that you have immunity form COVID-19 and does not mean you cannot become infected again. Whatever your result you should still follow current government guidelines.
The whole booking process was pretty straightforward with just a few questions about whether I have COVID symptoms and if I’d be contacted by NHS Test and Trace. They were then able to offer me a few appointment options which included some the next day or the day after. Passed on my debit card details and I was booked in.
The Bupa office – it was more an office than a hospital – was on the outskirts of Nottingham on a very quiet business park. I was in and out within 10 minutes, quite a contrast – but understandably so – to the two hour wait I had when I had my Haemochromatosis blood test earlier in the year.
I had to show some ID before being given a temperature test by the suitably PPE’d nurse which I evidently passed despite today’s stifling temperatures.
As a time-served blood donor the fuss that was made about the procedure seemed a little over the top. I had to lie on a couch where I was then asked a few questions about how I normally react to needles before being taken through every stage of the process until the moment of the “sharp scratch”.
I have to say that despite all the super clean, high tech set up and the perfect bedside manner the actual procedure could have been better. Seemed to take ages for him to find the blood and I’ve been left with a massive bruise something that never happens with our free NHS.
Now for the anxious wait for the result where, for the first time ever, I’ll be hoping for a positive.