Terms and Conditions / Covid-19 P.C.R. swab testing

Introduction

It is in our opinion reasonable to state turnaround times for the issuing of results which represent 98% of cases.

About 2% of results (one out of fifty) do not arrive on time, due to issues at laboratory level that are beyond our control. This estimate is based on our experience of having performed several hundred swab tests. Some of those results are so late in being delivered to us that that most practical solution is to re-swab the patient. If the test is being done for overseas travel reasons, some of those patients are going to miss their original flight time. We cannot predict in advance who the one-in-fifty patient is going to be. This means that when you book for this test with us, you have accepted that you are not 'all set' for your flight until:

  1. You have received your result from us
  2. It is on time in accordance with our stated turnaround time (there is a 49 out of 50 chance this will occur but a 1 in 50 chance it will not)
  3. It is negative (i.e. normal; there is a one in several hundred chance it will be unexpectedly positive or that the lab will state that the sample could not be processed, for a technical reason).

You could be that one-in-fifty person. You have no way of knowing that you are not, when your swab test is being done.

Do not proceed with your booking an appointment with us if you are not comfortable with the above reality.

All we want to achieve is on-time, normal results for all our patients. We have systems in place which have reduced the risk of human error on our part within the testing process to near-zero levels (data entry, paperwork linked to the patient, adequate sample acquisition). We have no control over the parts of the testing process that occur outside our clinic.

As soon as we feel that your result is at significant risk of being delayed, we will contact you and aim to re-swab you. If you are due to travel, our focus will be to get a result to you in time for your flight, if this is possible (depending on how imminent your flight time is). We will ask you to focus on this also. What we will not accept are (fortunately isolated) cases of aggression (verbal abuse, threats) from a small minority of patients whose results have been delayed for reasons beyond our control.

We are grateful to patients who have expressed appreciation to us for the occupation health risks we are taking when performing large numbers of Covid swab tests. As health professionals, we undertake these risks willingly.

Terms and conditions, point-by-point

  1. It is possible that you will test positive or 'weakly positive' or any other 'non-negative' category for Covid-19; the testing laboratory will contact the HSE independently of us and pass your details to the them. You are likely to be then contacted by the HSE Contact Tracing team, who may quarantine you and some of your contacts.
  2. You understand that recovered cases of Covid-19 can test positive by PCR swab testing, in exceptional cases, up to 42 days later.
  3. Your planned upcoming trip may be delayed or stopped by any of the following factors, none of which none of which you will hold us, nor the laboratories nor courier companies which we use, liable for, financially or otherwise:
    1. There is a failure by us in the handling of your sample
    2. The laboratory to which we send your swab might say that they have received an insufficient sample with which they can issue a test result, even though we contend that we have submitted a sufficient sample
    3. The laboratory might issue an 'indeterminate' result (neither clearly negative nor positive)
    4. You might test positive for Covid-19 (about one-in-three Covid cases have no symptoms)
    5. There is a problem with the courier service that we are using to transport your sample to the lab for processing
    6. There is a delay in the issuing of your test result by the laboratory because:
      1. The sample is mislaid by them
      2. The sample is misprocessed by them
      3. A surge in Covid cases in either Ireland, the U.K. or France, leading to the laboratories we use de-prioritising the processing of samples from our clinic, with resulting delays in the issuing of test results
      4. There is an I.T. failure at lab level
  4. If you are having this test done for immigration reasons, the country to which you travel might choose to decline to accept the result with which we supply you, even though we have presented your results in a manner which we are certain are clear and which we feel should be accepted by all authorities.
  5. You accept that your results will be provided to you by us in electronic pdf format, as an e-mail attachment, in the English language only and that any subsequent printing (colour or otherwise) that may be required must be undertaken by you, outside our clinic.
  6. You accept that our Covid-19 swab testing service with its associated desired outcomes (fully processed test results e-mailed to you by us on time) is being provided by us in good faith. You accept that a failure by us to achieve the outcome you expect will lead to no refund to you by us of any fees already paid by you to us and will lead to no claim of liability by you over us for any expenses (including travel, accommodation and/or flights) incurred by you, directly or indirectly.
  7. If you are booking this appointment not for yourself but for a third party, you understand that we recommend you get that third party to book the appointment themselves and if you proceed regardless with the booking, you accept that by booking this appointment, you are binding that third party to accept our criteria and our terms & conditions laid out here.
  8. You understand that in order to enable us to comply with social distancing and infection control requirements, you will not bring with you to the Clinic others who do not themselves have appointments i.e. babies, children, partners, relatives or friends, unless that person is a parent/guardian accompanying a child who has an appointment, or is a person acting as a translator for the patient.
  9. You understand that where Covid-19 PCR swab testing is not being done for pre-travel airline requirements but rather for 'return to work' or 'personal reassurance' reasons, the accuracy of the test at detecting asymptomatic Covid infection should be regarded as being around 70% (seventy percent); see this HSE article.
  10. The expected turnaround time for swab tests performed by us on a Friday is 72 hours.
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