AN ARTIST has claimed she was told to bin three coronavirus tests kits by the NHS after they were “missing essential items”.
Lucy Palmer, 38, explained she was offered the coronavirus tests by the ZOE Covid Symptom Study app after she registered her mum on the database.
Lucy, from Essex, shared the images of incomplete test kits on Twitter on Thursday in a thread which has since gone viral.
She also raised concerns about whether these broken kits would be included in the government’s official figures for the number of tests issued.
Lucy says all tests were missing an absorbent cloth and zip lock bag, rendering them unsafe for transit.
She also revealed she had only been able to order one test kit to replace the faulty tests.
The image shows the instruction booklet on how to take the test, shipping bills, a swab test – but is missing the absorbent cloth and zip lock bag.
The absorbent cloth is necessary to absorb the fluid samples damaged in transit with the bag is there to provide extra protection.
Lucy took to social media to share her experience last week, saying: “Last night I received three test kits.
“All are missing essential items and all have been binned, as advised by helpful NHS helpline staff.
“Today I could reorder only one. So does that count as four tests sent out? How many have been binned? And are you including them?
“For anyone who has asked and or wondered, pictured here is everything in each kit; other twp kits had extra label seals.
“Did labels count as the missing items to even up numbers?
“All three missed an absorbent cloth and (as I realised after the phonecall to NHS) a zip lock bag.
“I didn’t omit any items from the first kit I opened which was to be for me and is the one pictured.
“I’m angry that they’ve been wasted. I’m angry that this won’t, I suspect, be an issue acknowledged by the government because it doesn’t help their numbers and bluster. I’m angry that people are still waiting.”
The blunder has outraged social media users.
Holby City actress, Catherine Russell wrote under the tweet captioned with: “I despair.”
@lincs_inked said: “I’m a care home manager. I used the government Portal to order tests for 9 people.
“As I did this online it said they were sending 11 and next day I received a box of 50. We only have 13 residents and nine staff.”
@KchurchyK added: “So they miss bits of kits purposely so they can send more out and bump the figures up? Clever system.”
Speaking today she said: “I maybe should have checked all the kits had all the items; I assumed all “essential items” would be there.
“I opened the first rapisac bag (which would be mine, as I opened it) and read through the instruction booklet checking the items, and didn’t see the cloth or bag.
“So, I opened the other two, saw that they, too, were missing the cloths and bags.
“In the instruction booklet, it tells you to call a number if any items are missing.
” I did, and the very helpful person I spoke to said that I had done the right thing and that I should bag them all up and dispose of them.
“You’re instructed to put the completed swab sample in the vial, put the cloth and vial in the zip lock bag and seal it, then put that in the silver top biohazard bag.
“My assumption is that should the vial be damaged or broken or leak during transit the cloth would absorb the potentially-Covid-positive fluid. And the bag gives extra protection.
“If essential items aren’t there, it surely puts people at risk.”
An insider for the Department for Health said: “Over 700,000 home test kits have been dispatched by the National Testing Programme to date.
“We are aware of a very small number of instances where test kits have not had all of the necessary components, and we have taken action to resolve these issues.
“There are extensive quality control measures in place in order to reduce the risk of errors before tests are dispatched.”