Frequently Asked Questions
What is the PCR test for?
To detect the whether you have SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in your nose or throat.
What is an antibody test for?
To check whether you have developed antibodies to the virus in your blood from a past infection or exposure.
What if I need to cancel my appointment?
Our cancellation policy and process can be found here.
What if I want to request a refund or replacement?
All information on refunds and exchanges can be found here.
How long does the test take at the clinic?
The actual antibody blood test and PCR swab test if taken at our clinic can be done fairly quickly. However once we incorporate the steps we take to ensure safe and clean cubical and some small paperwork, we would estimate a customer to be at our clinic for no more than 15 minutes. Please note this is an estimate, and unforeseen occurrences on the day could mean your visit takes a little longer.
What is the delivery time of an online order? Can I request a first class delivery?
As per our Delivery and Dispatch information found here, we estimate deliveries to take between 1-2 working days however this is not guaranteed. All our prices for home-kits include a First Class delivery, and we do not currently offer any other option.
What protective measures does the clinic have?
The safety of our staff and customers is our priority, and we have taken considerable steps to ensure our clinic is a safe and secure environment. The clinic is fully equipped with sanitizers, social distanced seating, reception screening and masks available for customers. Our trained staff wear PPE and surfaces, equipment and furniture are regularly cleaned with disinfectants. Although we take all the necessary actions to provide a safe facility, we cannot guarantee 0% spread of any virus during these unprecedented times. We kindly ask to bring your own mask if you have one.
Why would I do the PCR test? Why would I do the antibody test? How do I know which test I need?
All information on the tests and identifying the right test for you can be found here.
What type of test is the PCR test?
It is a test that detects the RNA of coronavirus particles. This is why it is so sensitive and accurate. It does not rely on the body’s response to having been exposed to the virus previously, which can be variable. It tests for the presence of the coronavirus itself.
Is the PCR test accurate?
If there are any coronavirus on your swab it will definitely find it. However if it does not find coronavirus on your swab it does not necessarily mean you don’t have it. You may have swabbed in way that missed the virus, or at a time when it was in such low numbers that it didn’t get picked up on the swab. The best way to ensure the test is as accurate as possible is that a trained person takes the swab for you or use our in-clinic service once available.
What type of test is the antibody test?
It is a blood test taken at our private clinic by a healthcare professional. The sample is then sent within 24 hours to our laboratory partner to process using a gold standard immunoassay auto-analyser manufactured by one of the world's leading laboratory and diagnostics providers.
How long does it take to process the tests and receive the results?
If your test is carried out at our clinic, you will get your results back within 24-48 hours. If you are using a home-kit, you will get your result back within 1-2 days of your swab or blood sample getting to the laboratory - unless something goes unexpectedly wrong, which does happen very occasionally with highly sophisticated and complex laboratory instruments.
We process all results in batches commencing the next morning after they arrive in our laboratory. This means your results will be back to you late in the evening of the day after your sample gets to our laboratory 95% of the time. For example, if you get your sample to us on Monday, you will receive your result by email sometime between 6pm and midnight on Tuesday. Please do not rely on the mail if timing is important to you as it is unreliable at present. Coming to SW15 to have your swab taken or using a reliable courier service is a better way to ensure you have the best chance of getting your result the evening of the day after your swab is taken. Also please be aware that in up to 5% of cases, tests need to be re-run which is in an unavoidable reality with such a precise and sensitive laboratory test. Please allow for the possibility that it will be a day longer to get your results to you.
What do I do if I find out I have coronavirus on my swab in the PCR test?
Make sure you isolate yourself immediately and advise others in your household to do the same. Read all the advice and follow the guidance here and if you are feeling at all unwell go straight to this site to find what to do next.
What is Sensitivity of the IgG Antibody Test?*
This test has proven to be 100% sensitive in identifying antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus at 14 days after onset of covid-19 symptoms. Or put another way, everyone who had an illness that was confirmed to be caused by covid-19 developed IgG antibodies 14 days later so there were no false negatives.
What is the Specificity of the IgG Antibody Test?*
It is 99.63% specific. Or put another way, Only 0.37% of over 1000 people tested who had blood taken before December 2019 so could not have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 showed a false positive result. Interestingly there were over 70 people who had other similar respiratory illnesses tested in this group and none of them showed any false positives so it seems very unlikely that this test picks up antibodies to any of the other types of coronaviruses, or other viruses that cause flu-like or respiratory symptoms like covid-19. This problem of potential cross-reactivity was a very major concern about many of the cassette tests and other laboratory tests that were rushed to market.
What Regulatory Approvals Does the Test Have?
Our tests are powered by The London laboratory. The test is PHE approved, CE marked and FDA EUA approved, and is being shipped to laboratories in the UK and Europe in the millions of units to be used in the frontline of testing efforts to track the spread of the virus through our community.
It is great to be able to provide testing developed by the world leader in developing SARS-CoV-2 testing and it is exciting to be partnered with one of the first laboratories in Europe able to make this particular test available to anyone who would like to know more about their exposure to this virus
Will I be Immune to Covid-19 Illness if I have a Positive IgG Test?
We don't know yet. There is still a lot to learn about this virus and having antibodies does not mean you definitely have immunity. Furthermore it is not yet clear how long immunity lasts, even if there is any. So please continue to adhere to Government advice, social distancing and taken protective measures even if you do test positive for the antibodies. While there is still a lot of uncertainty, it is likely and that you may have at least some temporary immunity.
How can you support businesses?
There are some healthcare professionals and businesses who are taking a calculated risk that it is perhaps safe to return to work in some circumstances if people have both a PCR test which detects no virus, and a positive antibody test confirming the presence of antibodies - indicating that an individual is not carrying the virus and has been infected and recovered. We are happy to offer packages to facilitate these requirements.
What is the relationship between Claret Diagnostics and The London Laboratory.
Claret Diagnostics are operating as a branch of The London Laboratory, which enables them to offer a front-line phlebotomy, swab and home service under their registration. Our samples are sent daily to London Medical Laboratory to process at their CQC approved laboratory.