Record level of alcohol deaths recorded during COVID-19 pandemic

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Record level of alcohol deaths recorded during COVID-19 pandemic

Record level of alcohol deaths recorded during COVID-19 pandemic

22 March 2021

Deaths caused by alcohol consumption hit a new high during the first nine months of 2020, new figures for England and Wales show.

Between January and September, 5,640 deaths were registered with this cause – an increase of 16% on the same period in 2019. This significant increase has been the highest recorded figure since records began in 2001. The high rates spanned the period during and after the first national COVID-19 lockdown, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics.

As in past years, rates of male alcohol-specific deaths were twice those seen for women. Experts say the coronavirus pandemic will have had little effect on how the data was gathered and recorded. But it is not clear how much it may have contributed to the deaths.

A spokesman for ONS said:

“Today’s data shows that in the first three quarters of 2020, alcohol-specific deaths in England and Wales reached the highest level since the beginning of our data series, with April to September, during and after the first lockdown, seeing higher rates compared to the same period in previous years.”

“The reasons for this are complex and it will take time before the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on alcohol-specific deaths is fully understood.”

Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol’s impact on your body starts from the moment of consumption. While an occasional glass of wine or beer isn’t a cause for concern, the cumulative effects of drinking beer, wine or spirits can take its toll.

Excessive consumption can impact various parts of the body. Effects can range from weakening of the immune and digestive system, to inflammation and sugar level issues.

Our ‘Effects Of’ Series provides a range of educational posters that ca be displayed in workplaces. Click here to view them.

Did you know that alcohol misuse at work can:

  • increase sickness and absenteeism
  • harm the reputation of the business
  • decrease productivity
  • put employees and members of the public in unnecessary risk

Breath Testing in the Workplace

Handheld breathalysers are an ideal device for conducting workplace alcohol testing. Quick and easy testing provides an instant readout of the donor’s breath alcohol measurement.  Simply compare the reading to the cutoff defined in your own drug and alcohol testing policy.

Breathalyser devices gauge blood alcohol content (BAC) by measuring deep lung air. This type of testing can accurately determine whether a person has recently consumed alcohol or is currently over the legal or pre-determined limit. Breathalyser calibrations are maintained in accordance with the manufacturers specifications and periodically accuracy checked to ensure results are accurate and reliable.

How Randox Testing Services can help

At Randox Testing Services, we are pleased to offer a range of stand-alone alcohol tests or combinations of tests to meet your needs.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, RTS have continued to provide drug & alcohol testing services. At all times, we have ensured our staff are equipped to provide sensible advice and flexible solutions to drug & alcohol testing.

Whether for use in workplace settings or for use in court proceedings for medico-legal cases, our range of alcohol testing methods will provide you with accurate and reliable results at competitive prices.

For more information on our alcohol testing services, or to request a quote, contact us using any of the below details.

Website: www.randoxtestingservices.com

Email: testingservices@randox.com

Phone: +44 (0) 28 9445 1011

For those who’ve beaten addiction in their own lives Rehab 4 Addiction is a free addiction helpline. Click here.

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The importance of drug and alcohol testing in uncertain times

The importance of drug and alcohol testing in uncertain times

01 February 2021

The ongoing pandemic has had a dramatic impact on daily life. COVID-19 has changed how we socialise, work and go about our daily routines. If infections continue to rise, we will all have to live with ongoing restrictions in some form or another for quite some time.

COVID-19 has altered the way which we consume, and drugs & alcohol are no exception. The closure of pubs and restaurants have meant that supermarket and off-licenses have seen alcohol sales soar due to drinking from home being the main way to consumer alcohol. Drug consumption has been affected, with supply chains being impacted due to lockdowns & limit on travel distances.

New studies have begun to emerge which highlight how consumption trends in relation to alcohol specifically have changed since COVID-19 begun.

Below are some of the key findings:

  • The Royal College of Psychiatrists analysed Public Health England data to reveal that over 8.4 million people are now drinking at a higher risk level – rising from 4.8 million in February; a 75% increase.
  • Data from the Commission on Alcohol Harms and the Alcohol Health Alliance revealed that alcohol sales rose by 67% before lockdown began.
  • An interim report from the Global Drug Survey (GDS) in early June revealed that COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdown have changed people’s drinking habit.
  • 47% of Britons who drink stated that they had been drinking earlier in the day since lockdown started – a figure that was higher than for most other nations included in the survey.
  • In addition, over 50% of Britons revealed that they had increased the number of days on which they drink, with a third of British respondents also reporting an increase in binge drinking.
  • Alcohol Change commissioned a study that looked at drinking consumptions during lockdown in England.
  • One in five drinkers (21%) said they have been drinking more frequently since the lockdown. This equates to around 8.6 million UK adults who may be drinking more frequently.
  • 15% of those surveyed also said they have been drinking more per session since lockdown.

Business As Usual

The reason for highlighting the above figures is to show that, whilst for many lockdown meant adjusting to working from home, others business sectors continued to operate as normal. As such, workplace testing for drugs & alcohol shifted dramatically. Many companies who had a testing policy in place that included random testing suddenly stopped due to staff being based at home. However, other key sectors such as construction, manufacturing, logistics all continued to function. With these businesses continuing, Randox Testing Services (RTS) remains open and fully operational and available to carry out testing.

Michelle Fenn, Business Development Manager for RTS, commented on the changing testing trends that occurred;

“RTS continue to operate and provide full-service provision during the on-going pandemic. During the first lockdown we noticed a change in testing, as more companies operated on a work from home basis. However, for some this isn’t possible and have had to maintain operations. Due to circumstances, we have seen companies increase pre-employment testing as new staff are brought on to cope with changing workplace demands. Other testing programmes have been altered such as random testing, but we continue to provide full services and are meeting & often exceeding requirements by our customers.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, RTS have continued to provide drug & alcohol testing services. At all times, we have ensured our staff are equipped to provide sensible advice and flexible solutions to drug & alcohol testing.

We have provided each Collection Officer with full PPE to ensure they meet requirements for personal and professional safety. Full social distancing guidelines are always followed whilst conducting testing. We continue to advise and navigate companies through this period as more businesses return and testing is required.

Importance of testing

The stats mentioned at the top of this article highlight the changing nature of how people have consumed alcohol over the last 12 months. With increases being seen in both quantity of consumption and frequency, it is important that companies are aware of the potential dangers that may arise if a member of staff arrives to work intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

In addition to the alcohol stats, annual research is also carried out to highlight drug consumption patterns. According to research by Public Health England and the devolved nations Health Departments, the most recent surveys covering England, Wales and Scotland reported the highest prevalence of drug use in the past 10 years. From the most recent surveys, the prevalence of any drug use in the last year was 9.4% in England and Wales, 12% in Scotland, and 5.9% in Northern Ireland.

In September 2020, a report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction said Scotland had the highest recorded drug death rate in Europe, far ahead of Sweden in second place. More than 1,200 people in Scotland died of drug misuse in 2019.

The consumption of drugs & alcohol in these uncertain times can cause untold potential dangers for employers. Whilst many companies will continue to function with staff working remotely, for some this isn’t possible.

Safety-critical industries such as construction, manufacturing and logistics will have staff present who need to carry on with daily tasks. It is important to ensure that staff are always safe, this includes provision of testing for drugs & alcohol.

Risk of injury

Employers put in place multiple mechanisms to ensure accidents at work do not occur. Despite these efforts, it’s not always possible to remove the danger. In the UK, workplace injury amounted to £5.2 billion in costs/damages in 2017/18.

28.2 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health and non-fatal workplace injuries in 2018/19. Furthermore, the construction, retail/wholesale, manufacturing, accommodation and agriculture had statistically higher rate of workplace injury per 100,000 workers according to the Labour Force Survey 2018/19.

These statistics highlight the dangers of accidents occurring in the workplace. With the potential for serious injury or worst-case scenario a fatal incident, it is of paramount importance to ensure employees are safe in the knowledge that accidents will not occur due to substance misuse or employees being under the influence.

Fully managed testing service

Randox Testing Services specialise in drug and alcohol testing for workplaces. We provide a quality service that covers all employer needs with the safety of employees at the centre of this focus.

Our experience in the industry and the knowledge of our parent company Randox Laboratories has allowed us to pivot our offering to provide fully compliant and safe COVID-19 testing for workplaces. In these uncertain times, COVID-19 can cause potentially devastating consequences if not correctly managed and addressed.

A new study by researchers at University College London revealed that 86% of people who tested positive for COVID-19 did not have symptoms, highlighting the importance of frequent screening to reduce spread of the virus.

Our COVID-19 test uses Real-Time PCR to accurately detect for the virus. With our knowledge & expertise in testing for workplace companies, we are proud to offer this service; with our test currently used as part of the Government’s National Testing Programme.

The service includes a range of different options, each designed to meet the needs of any business and their requirements. From a fully managed service where our trained and full PPE equipped Collection Officers will conduct testing on behalf of your company, to our mobile testing unit which can move to multiple sites and conduct large volume testing with results in less than three hours, we are confident our services can meet your needs. By using any of our testing services for COVID-19, you can provide peace of mind to employees by conducing regular testing or get your employees back to work as part of a return to work programme.

About Randox Testing Services

We specialise in testing. Whether that be for drugs & alcohol or COVID-19, we are confident that no matter what your testing needs, we will be able to fully understand your requirements and successfully help your company to reduce the impact of drugs & alcohol or COVID-19.

Employees are a company’s greatest asset. Therefore, it is important to ensure they are not exposed to any dangers such as someone potentially intoxicated from drug & alcohol consumption. RTS can help eradicate this danger, whilst helping your employees successfully understand how to mitigate the impacts of substance misuse, through managed testing programme and a range of training & education services to inform and educate staff.

Contact us today and speak with our experts who will provide more information about how testing works and the ways in which RTS can help your company.

E-mail: testingservices@randox.com

Phone: +44 (0) 28 9445 1011

Web: www.randoxtestingservices.com

 

For those who’ve beaten addiction in their own lives Rehab 4 Addiction is a free addiction helpline. Click here.

 

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Workplace Drug & Alcohol Testing Testimonials: Randox Testing Services

24 November 2020

Workplace Drug & Alcohol Testing Testimonials : How Randox Testing Services can help

With the widespread availability of drugs and alcohol, there is an increased risk of substance abuse in the workplace leading to huge ramifications for a business and its employees. Jeopardising the safety of not only the user, but also their co-workers and in some cases the general public, it affects the whole business environment and puts those present at serious risk of harm.

RTS work with a wide range of companies who seek to reduce the impact of substance use and its potential impact in the workplace.

Below are several testimonials from companies we have helped to implement a testing programme – whether that be a drug and alcohol testing programme using different sample types and testing protocols, or an education initiative educating employees on the dangers of substance misuse when in the workplace.

Read the testimonials below.

 

McLaughlin & Harvey

McLaughlin & Harvey have engaged Randox Testing Services for our Random, With-Cause & Post Incident Drugs & Alcohol employee and contractor screening throughout UK & Ireland since 2017.

We have found RTS to be professional, reliable and highly competent in support of our drugs & alcohol testing programme. RTS have provided excellent on-site testing, customer service and reliable laboratory results when required.

RTS have consistently performed within our service level agreement and I would have no hesitation in recommending them for drug & alcohol testing services.

 

MacFarlane Packaging

In 2018, I was tasked with trialling new providers for our Drug and Alcohol testing for our Group. It was apparent quite early on that compared to some of the other leading providers we also tested, that Randox Testing Services outshone the rest.

The service has always been personal to our needs and consistent, which assists us in managing our responsibilities with confidence.

Along with the Drug and Alcohol Testing we have recently acquired a sample of COVID 19 testing kits to trial and again the service has been prompt and efficient.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Randox Testing Services to others.

 

Titan Airways

Randox Testing Services has consistently provided an excellent reliable, service, which has enabled us to have the necessary flexibility within our unique operation, to continue to operate and provide assurances to our customers during these challenging times.

Our account manager is exceptionally obliging and has been available to answer any questions or concerns to ensure a rapid response, not only in the delivery of products, but also providing a link with technicians who process our results. This gives us the reassurances and confidence to meet commercial demands.

The general quality of service is excellent and Randox Testing Services always go over and above to ensure they deliver the finest high-quality service to us.

 

H&MV Engineering

We have used Randox Testing Services (RTS) for the past 2 years. We have found their service to be very professional and all queries are dealt with swiftly and with integrity.

We look forward to continuing or relationship with RTS over the coming years.

 

Graham Construction

Graham Construction are proud to be partnered with Randox Testing Services as their main drug and alcohol service provider.

Over the years they have given a consistent, prompt, efficient and professional service that delivered what was promised, when promised, to the proper agreed standards, which assists us in managing our relevant responsibilities with ease and confidence.

We would have no hesitation in recommending them to others.

 

Mabey Hire

Randox Testing Services have provided Mabey Hire with an exceptional service for workplace drug and alcohol testing for many years. You can speak to any member of the team from customer services, collection staff and your account manager who are always willing to help and are highly experienced. It’s great to know that you have the support you need when it’s needed.

We have found them to be reliable and deliver a prompt turnaround of clear and accurate reports. They have provided a service tailored to us and our drug and alcohol policy.

 

CAE Parc Aviation

We use Randox Testing Services for pre-employment and random drug and alcohol testing for select clients.

We would happily recommend their services.

 

Yorwaste

Yorwaste first engaged with Randox Testing Services in 2015 to develop a post-incident, with-cause testing policy. RTS were instrumental in helping us developing a policy and introduce the process to the business. In addition, they offered management training to help develop the business’ understanding of what to look for and do in relation to drugs and alcohol in the workplace.

We are currently looking at introducing pre-employment screening and, with RTS, exploring the benefits of this approach for our business.

We as a business would strongly recommend RTS in helping develop and deliver a robust approach to drugs and alcohol in the workplace.

 

Contact Randox Testing Services

At Randox Testing Services it is our aim to help employers provide a safer workplace by reducing the dangers of drugs & alcohol. We work with companies to inform & educate on how illicit substances can have untold dangers to staff and impact the productivity of a business.

If you would like to find out more about our services, or any of the testimonials above, get in touch with us to arrange a consultation with one of our drug & alcohol testing experts, using any of the below methods.

Website: www.randoxtestingservices.com

Email: testingservices@randox.com

Phone: +44 (0) 28 9445 1011

 

Want to know more?

Contact us or visit our website to read more.


RTS Blog: Use of Reporting Services in Medico-Legal Cases

19 October 2020: Use of Reporting Services in Medico-Legal Cases

At Randox Testing Services we provide several reporting options that are available for use should they be required in medico-legal cases, including expert witness reports and medical reviews to add clarity and expert examination to results.

Why is Drug and Alcohol Testing in Medico-legal Cases Important?

Drug and alcohol testing is important to ensure child protection from the detrimental effects of parental substance misuse and to ensure they have a quality of life they deserve. In addition, it is also important to enable parents the opportunity to get the help and support they need and begin rehabilitation treatment.

Doing the right thing by the child is the main priority, and where possible parent and child relationships are sought to be maintained. Drug and alcohol testing assists in these efforts and in such cases abstinence monitoring testing may be required to assess a parent’s recovery e.g. if a visitation case is being reassessed.

Expert Witness Services

An Expert Witness Report is an interpretation of the results of a drug or alcohol test. It provides a detailed explanation of whether substances tested for were detected as well as information regarding chain of custody compliance and testing procedures.

As trusted industry experts Randox Testing Services staff are trained to act as Expert Witnesses in legal cases involving drug and alcohol testing. Our experienced team of Reporting Scientists have undergone extensive Expert Witness training to provide professional witness statements or fully written reports for use as evidence in a court of law or industrial tribunals.

Where required a Senior Toxicologist from Randox Testing Services can attend legal proceedings in person to provide expert witness testimony.

Medical Review Officer

Our medical review service offers independent and expert examination of positive results under medical confidentiality.

A positive result from a drug and alcohol analysis is a cause for concern. However, there are some cases when there is a legitimate medical reason for the result. Our medical review service allows for the independent and confidential review of the result to determine the cause of a positive result, for example, if an employee is taking prescription medication.

The Medical Review Officer (MRO) assesses a positive result in the light of the donor’s medical background to determine if there is a legitimate medical reason for the result. The MRO helps protect both the rights of the employee being tested and the employer requiring the testing.

Randox Testing Services

At Randox Testing Services we offer customers access to our expertise through providing various reporting options to customers. These reporting services can be utilised in cases where extra clarity or examination is needed to investigate the outcome of a drugs test. These reports are utilised by workplaces as well as those operating within the medico-legal sector.

For more information on our training, education and reporting services, visit https://www.randoxtestingservices.com/workplace-drug-and-alcohol-testing/training-education-reporting-and-policy/

If you would like to find out more about our drug and alcohol testing programs, contact us today to speak to one of our experience business development executives.

Email: testingservices@randox.com

Phone: 028 9592 2801

 

 

Want to know more?

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The use of DNA, Drug and Alcohol Testing in Medico-Legal cases

18 September 2020: The use of DNA, Drug & Alcohol Testing in Medico-Legal cases

Drug and alcohol testing may be required by various professional bodies involved in child custody cases, care proceedings or child protection cases. In cases regarding divorce and children, a dispute may arise during the process of discussions involving the custody of children. In these cases, drug and alcohol testing may be sought if there has been a substance abuse claim against a parent fighting for custody or visitation. In cases relating to child protection, social services may seek drug and alcohol testing if child welfare claims have been made regarding suspected substance misuse.

Why is Drug and Alcohol Testing in Medico-legal Cases Important?

Drug and alcohol testing is important to ensure child protection from the detrimental effects of parental substance misuse and to ensure they have the quality of life they deserve. In addition, it is also important to allow parents the opportunity to get the help and support they need and begin rehabilitation treatment.

Doing the right thing by the child is the main priority, and where possible parent and child relationships are sought to be maintained. Drug and alcohol testing assists in these efforts and in such cases abstinence monitoring testing may be required to assess a parent’s recovery e.g. if a visitation case is being reassessed.

Our Expertise

At Randox Testing Services we provide drug and alcohol testing to all professionals within the medico-legal sector. Our testing service utilises accredited testing methods and is made more cost-effective through patented testing methods developed by Randox.

We understand the impact a positive result can have on a parent, child, and extended family and ensure results are of the highest precision and accuracy. With over 35 years’ experience in the diagnostic industry we have gained reputation as a trusted provider.

Our drug and alcohol testing solutions are flexible and can be tailored to our customer needs with a choice of testing methods. We offer a comprehensive drugs of abuse test menu and our service also includes the use of an Expert Witness Statement where applicable.

Range of Testing

We provide a range of testing to suit the requirements for any medico-legal case. Read more below to find out what is available.

Alcohol Testing

PEth

PEth (Phosphatidylethanol) is a direct alcohol biomarker that only forms in the body when ethanol is present, making it the most sensitive and specific test to assess alcohol consumption levels.

  • PEth test involves spotting a drop of blood from a small finger prick onto a test card. The dried blood spot (DBS) is sent to the laboratory for analysis.
  • PEth testing will differentiate between abstinence or light alcohol consumption, social alcohol consumption and alcohol abuse for up to a month prior to the test.

Benefits of PEth Testing

  • Accurate blood alcohol test
  • Detect chronic and single-drinking episodes of alcohol consumption
  • Monitor abstinence, drinking behaviour and identify relapse

Hair Alcohol Testing

Testing for alcohol in head hair works by detecting two metabolites of alcohol: ethyl glucuronide (EtG) and the fatty acid ethyl ester (FAEE). Both EtG and FAEE can be measured in hair providing an insight into alcohol consumption over the previous period of months. Concentrations can be influenced by cosmetic treatments and products and as such it is always advisable to test in conjunction with PEth or LFT/CDT blood testing.

Benefits of Hair Alcohol Testing

  • Assessment of alcohol consumption for up to 6 months
  • Collected by fully trained Collection Officer
  • History of alcohol consumption can be established

Blood Alcohol Testing

Blood alcohol testing is used to measure the level of alcohol in an individual’s blood. When alcohol is consumed, it’s absorbed into the bloodstream, with approximately 90% being broken down into the liver. RTS offer the following blood alcohol tests:

  • Liver Function Test (LFT) – The blood is examined for specific enzymes which can indicate damage to the liver caused by alcohol consumption. However, other factors can lead to increased levels of liver enzymes.
  • Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin (CDT) – Looks at specific protein which can become elevated because of heavy alcohol consumption. However, other factors can lead to increased levels of CDT.

Benefits of Blood Alcohol Testing

  • Collection by a fully trained phlebotomist collection officer
  • Assessment of alcohol consumption for up to 1 month
  • Determine drinking behaviour and patterns of use

Drug Testing

Urine

Urine drug testing is used to determine whether someone is misusing drugs by taking a sample of their urine. We offer a 12 panel that covers the major drug groups, including:

Opiates, MDMA/Ecstasy, Cocaine, Tramadol, Methadone, Methamphetamine, Ketamine, Amphetamine, Cannabinoids, EDDP, Benzodiazepines, Buprenorphine

Benefits of Urine Drug Testing

  • Assessment of substance consumption for up to 12 days, drug dependent and quantity ingested
  • Confirmation of presumptive positive available on request
  • Fully accredited LC mass spectrometry confirmatory analysis

Hair

Hair drug testing is a useful form of testing and can be used to support other methods such as oral fluid and urine testing. Our standard panel for hair drug testing includes:

Opiates, Methadone, Tramadol, Cocaine (inc. Crack Cocaine), Amphetamines, (inc. Methamphetamines and “ecstasy” type drugs), Benzodiazepines, Cannabis, Ketamine

Benefits of Hair Drug Testing

  • Detection window of 0-12 months dependent on length (1cm roughly 1 month) – Can be an overview of 3 monthly periods or segmented into monthly periods.
  • Head hair & body hair (except axillary & pubic)
  • Body hair – Up to a 12-month overview. Unable to be segmented
  • Bespoke hair drug panel with other substances available on request

DNA Testing

We provide a range of DNA Testing services to suit your requirements.

  • Paternity testing
  • Maternity testing
  • Sibling DNA testing
  • Grandparent DNA testing
  • Aunt/Uncle testing

Benefits of DNA Testing

  • Fully trained collection officer
  • Legally accepted results

Want to find out more?

To speak to one of our experts about how our range of testing and services can help with your medico-legal testing enquiry, contact us today by emailing testingservices@randox.com or by phoning +44 (0) 28 9445 1011

 

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Vacancies available in support of the COVID-19 National Testing Programme

17 September 2020

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Vacancies available in support of the COVID-19 National Testing Programme

Vacancies available in support of the COVID-19 National Testing Programme

There’s no doubt that coronavirus is having a devastating effect across the globe.

But here in Northern Ireland there’s a company making a real impact in the fight against COVID-19. And you can be part of it.

Randox Laboratories, in County Antrim, has partnered with the government on its programme for coronavirus testing across Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.

The programme, which in its first few weeks was focused primarily on staff working within the NHS, and then on key workers, is now available to anyone living across the UK who has symptoms of coronavirus.

Randox are providing high volume laboratory testing of potential COVID-19 samples in its laboratories at the Randox Science Park in Antrim.

It’s an enormous task, but one that Randox is well-equipped to handle. In 2019, Randox manufactured over 3 billion tests and exported to 145 countries. Its new headquarters, the result of a £161 million investment, houses state-of-the-art laboratories and the latest innovations in health diagnostic technology.

The company stepped up to support the government’s testing programme without hesitation.

Across the COVID-19 testing process, a multi-disciplinary team work collaboratively and assiduously to provide optimal support to the national response to COVID-19.

It begins with the production of Randox’s Biochip, a patented testing technology which can run multiple diagnostic tests simultaneously.

Upon identifying the latest strain of coronavirus as a significant global threat, and by drawing on almost 40 years of experience as a world-leading diagnostics company, Randox developed a new Biochip for the diagnosis of COVID-19 in a greatly accelerated time frame of just two weeks. The new Randox Biochip processes two coronavirus tests simultaneously – one specific and one confirmatory – as recommended by the World Health Organisation.

The firm’s team of talented scientists continue to develop these COVID-19 Biochips on an unparalleled scale, in preparation for testing of samples from across the UK.

Meanwhile, specialist engineers design and build the coronavirus testing platforms used to conduct the tests when they arrive at the laboratory.

Randox recently announced it was hiring 160 mechanical, electrical and manufacturing engineers to work on the fast-tracked development of newly designed molecular analysers used to detect the presence of COVID-19.

And the company is also recruiting for positions in Manufacturing and Science, and in particular scientists who have experience in a diagnostic laboratory, in support of Randox’s role within the government testing programme for COVID-19.

These scientists will be exposed to molecular testing techniques including DNA extraction, PCR techniques and Biochip technology, in order to process samples that arrive at the laboratory for testing.

Everyone at Randox has a vital role to play in the practical application of COVID-19 testing.  For Scientists, Engineers and those with experience in Manufacturing, Randox’s recruitment drive is a unique opportunity to make a positive impact in the fight against COVID-19.  Successful applicants will contribute directly both to saving lives and assisting the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To find out more about the positions available for Randox’s COVID-19 testing project, visit  https://randox.getgotjobs.co.uk/

Want to know more about Randox?

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Drug and Alcohol Training from Randox Testing Services

10 August 2020: Drug and Alcohol Training from Randox Testing Services

As well as providing a fully managed drug & alcohol testing service, RTS provide a range of training and education services to help inform and educate regarding the issue of drug & alcohol use in the workplace.

Alcohol use increases the risk of problems in the workplace, such as absenteeism, presenteeism and inappropriate behaviour. Use of alcohol or illicit drugs can impair a person’s performance at work through poor decision making and impaired reaction times causing lost productivity, inferior goods/services, errors and accidents.

Certain working situations and conditions are associated with use of alcohol and illicit drugs (i.e. shift or night work, travel away from home, working remotely, business meals, poor communications and job stress, etc). There are many factors within the workplace culture that present an increased risk for the use of substances including availability, work/peer-group pressures, lack of supervision, physical danger and interface with a demanding or aggressive public. International evidence also indicates that longer working hours are significantly associated with higher rates of alcohol use and related problems.

Professional Services

Randox Testing Services offer professional training services to ensure efficient implementation of workplace drug and alcohol testing. The training services confirm employer confidence to carry out workplace drug and alcohol testing and management competence in enforcing the process. There are a range of tailored training programmes to educate employers and their management staff.

Range of Courses

Our range of competency courses are designed to train employees who will be responsible for carrying out self-collection in accordance with company policy. Anyone involved in self-collection needs to be suitably trained and certificated to follow set procedures that ensure all testing can be legally defended. We provide competency courses for the following matrices:

  • Alcohol Testing
  • Instant Urine Testing
  • Instant Oral Fluid Testing

In addition to the above, we also provide a portfolio of other training and education presentations that enable employers to enhance awareness of substance misuse & understand the various processes involved when implementing a workplace testing programme. These options include:

  • Chain of Custody Training
  • Drug & Alcohol Awareness Training
  • Employee Briefings
  • Bespoke Training Courses

All training courses are fully recorded, regularly reviewed and include an assessment of the effectiveness of training. Upon completion, all attendees are granted a Certificate of Attendance at the end of each completed training course.

Randox Testing Services

Randox Testing Services are a specialist in the workplace drug & alcohol testing sector. We provide a wide range of testing for companies who want to reduce the impact of substance misuse in the workplace. With a range of service options and expert staff on hand to provide help and training, our services will help to eradicate the impact of drugs and alcohol.

If you have any questions regarding drug & alcohol testing and how we can provide your company with training and education services, please use the below details to get in touch and we will be happy to discuss requirements.

Email – testingservices@randox.com

Phone – +44 (0) 28 9445 1011

Want to know more?

Contact us or visit our website to read more.


Alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic

09 July 2020

Alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic

 

Alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic

On 31 December 2019, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission in Wuhan City, Hubei province, China, reported a cluster of 27 pneumonia cases (including seven severe cases) of unknown aetiology, with a common reported link to Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, a wholesale fish and live animal market. On 23 January 2020, Wuhan City was locked down – with all travel in and out of Wuhan prohibited –and movement inside the city was restricted.

By March, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, with more than 150 countries worldwide being affected. Many countries, including the UK; imposed stringent public health measures that included the closure of businesses & strict social distancing guidelines.

Due to the enforced lockdown, many within the UK workforce had to make alternative working arrangements, with working from home becoming the new norm. With the closure of businesses and the hospitality sector including bars and restaurants, it meant people seeking alternative means to purchase and consume alcohol.

Before the pandemic, alcohol was attributed to being a financial burden to the UK health system and wider economy. The British Medical Journal estimated that alcohol costs the NHS more than £3.5 billion and the wider economy at least £21bn each year.

The organisation Alcohol Change UK commissioned new research to look at whether people’s drinking habits changed during the COVID-19 lockdown. Over 2,000 people completed the survey, with results weighted to ensure they were representative of the UK population.

The key takeaway from the report is people are consuming alcohol differently because of the lockdown. Around one in five drinkers (21%) told us that they have been drinking more frequently since the lockdown. This suggests that around 8.6 million UK adults are drinking more frequently under lockdown.

Furthermore, while almost half of drinkers said they were drinking about the same amount on a typical drinking day, 15% said they have been drinking more per session since lockdown.

The Global Drug Survey produced a special report for COVID-19 with more than 80,000 participants. The report stated that 44% of those who participated said the frequency of alcohol use increased. Reasons for this included ‘having more time to drink and feeling bored more often.’ However, 25.5% reported having decreased their use of alcohol during COVID-19.

As restrictions begin to ease and more people return to work, it is important to highlight the impact of COVI-19 on the workforce. People’s way of life has changed dramatically, with this change comes different ways of consuming alcohol. It is important to note that the figures above are a proportionate representation based on those who took part, but valuable insights can be gained when looking at alcohol use. For employers who have staff returning to work, their safety is of paramount importance. This will include effectively managing substance misuse, should it be an issue in the workplace.

Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol’s impact on your body starts from the moment you take your first sip. While an occasional glass of wine or beer isn’t a cause for concern, the cumulative effects of drinking wine, beer, or spirits can take its toll.

Consumption of alcohol can impact various parts of the body. Effects can range from weakening of the immune and digestive system, to inflammation and sugar level issues.

Our ‘Effects Of’ Series provides educational posters that can be displayed in workplaces to highlight the dangers of alcohol. Click here for more information.

About Randox Testing Services

Randox Testing Services are a specialist in the workplace drug & alcohol testing sector. We provide a wide range of testing for companies who want to reduce the impact of substance misuse in the workplace. With a range of service options and expert staff on hand to provide help and training, our services will help to eradicate the impact of drugs and alcohol.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, RTS have continued to provide drug & alcohol testing services. At all times, we have ensured our staff are equipped to provide sensible advice and flexible solutions to drug & alcohol testing.

We have provided each Collection Officer with full PPE to ensure they meet requirements for personal and professional safety. Full social distancing guidelines are followed at all times when possible whilst conducting testing. We will continue to advise and navigate companies through this period as more businesses return and testing is required.

If you have any questions regarding drug & alcohol testing, contact us today.

Web: www.randoxtestingservices.com

Email: testingservices@randox.com

Phone: +44 (0) 28 9445 1011

 

 

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Randox calls upon NI engineers to build COVID-19 testing platforms

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05 April 2020

COVID-19 Engineering Recruitment Drive

 

RANDOX CALLS UPON NI ENGINEERS TO BUILD COVID-19 TESTING PLATFORMS

Randox Laboratories has today announced it is recruiting 160 mechanical, electrical and manufacturing engineers to enhance its capacity for COVID-19 testing.

 The engineers, who are due to begin work at the Randox Science Park from the middle of May, will be involved in the fast-tracked development of specialist molecular analysers used to detect the presence of COVID-19.

These testing platforms will be used to further enhance the government’s national testing scheme for key workers, as well as to facilitate testing more broadly across the general populace.

Dr Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, commented;

“It is Randox’s priority to ensure that we support the UK’s effort to fight COVID-19, by testing at scale. We know that this is the most effective way to both save lives and promote a timely return to a more normal society.

“We continue to ramp up our COVID-19 testing capabilities – not only by increasing our production of testing kits, but also by accelerating the build schedule for the testing analysers on which the tests are performed.

“We are aiming, by working at maximum efficiency in a greatly accelerated time frame of 6-7 weeks, to manufacture 200 of our most state-of-the-art testing platforms, which will greatly enhance our testing capacity at Randox.”

Randox has, in recent weeks, established a number of new teams responsible for the development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 testing kits for the national testing programme.

The company is also interested in speaking to anyone with experience in mechanical, electrical or manufacturing engineering. Invest Northern Ireland is helping by contacting companies which may be able to temporarily release resources to help meet this urgent staffing requirement.

Dr FitzGerald added;

“To meet the unprecedented demand for COVID-19 testing, we have been redeploying our own personnel to various COVID-19 critical departments, but are now also recruiting for a number of specialist disciplines.

“Everyone at Randox has a vital role to play in the practical application of COVID-19 testing, and for engineers in particular, this is a unique opportunity to make a positive impact in the fight against COVID-19, by directly contributing in no small part to the national testing programme.”

Anyone interested in the Randox COVID-19 Engineering Drive should apply at careers.randox.com

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RTS Blog | Wales introduce minimum alcohol pricing

12 March 2020

Wales introduce minimum alcohol pricing

 

RTS Blog | Wales introduce minimum alcohol pricing

From 2nd March, there was a change in the way alcohol is sold in Wales, with the introduction of minimum unit pricing (MUP).

Retailers and any outlets serving alcohol must charge at least 50p a unit, meaning a typical bottle of wine costs no less than £4.69. Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething said it would tackle “harmful and damaging” drinking of cheap, strong alcohol.

A recent report found that alcohol sales in Scotland had dropped after a similar system was implemented in May 2018. The Public Health Minimum Price for Alcohol Wales Act 2018 forces retailers to use a formula for working out minimum pricing.

What is a unit of alcohol?

  • A unit is 10ml of pure alcohol
  • This is equivalent to about half a pint of lower or standard-strength beer or cider
  • A single 25ml shot of sprits is about one unit
  • A small 125ml glass of wine contains about 1.5 units

Source: NHS Direct Wales

What is minimum unit pricing?

Minimum unit pricing (MUP) is a method in setting a baseline price below which no one can sell an alcoholic drink. The price is based on how much alcohol is in each drink. The minimum price that’s being set in Wales is 50p per unit of alcohol. Whether the drink is beer, cider, wine, spirits or any other kind of alcoholic drink; its minimum price will depend on how much alcohol it contains. For example:

  • A standard-strength pint of beer or cider contains around 2.5 units of alcohol, so it can’t be sold in Wales for less than £1.25 (2.5 x 50p)
  • A bottle of wine has about 10 units of alcohol in it, so the minimum price for it is around £5 (10 x 50p)
  • A bottle of whisky or vodka contains around 26 units, and so cannot be sold for less than £13 (26 x 50p)

Why has it been introduced?

Official figures show about 500 people die in Wales each year from alcohol-related causes, with 60,000 hospital admissions related to alcohol consumption, adding up to an estimated £159m cost to the Welsh NHS r.

Dr Sarah Aitken, director of public health for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said the organisation had been supportive of the law change since it was first mooted.

“We see the effects of excessive alcohol consumption on people’s health every day,” she said.

 About Randox Testing Services

Randox Testing Services are a specialist in the workplace drug & alcohol testing industry. We provide testing solutions for companies who want to reduce the impact of substance misuse in their workplace. With a range of service options and expert staff on hand to provide help and training to staff, our services will help to eradicate the impacts of drugs and alcohol.

To find out more about our range of products and how our service packages can help your company, contact us today.

Email – testingservices@randox.com

Phone – +44 (0) 28 9445 1011

 

Want to know more?

Contact us or visit our website to read more.


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