Secret Shopper

We are checking out the vitamin D test service every month from September 2020. Samples sent to the laboratory anonymously from members of the public around the UK now form part of the quality assurance assessment of the whole process. You will see the computer report states the date the sample was taken, received in the laboratory and then tested. We have added in blue text the date the emailed result got back to our Secret Shopper.

November 2020

Secret Shoppers: We have two secret shoppers this month. Judith and Christopher live together in Kent and are retired. They both take cod liver oil every day and also a multi-vitamin tablet. They put their samples in the post at the same time in separate pre-paid envelopes. Comments: Judith’s sample took over a week to arrive - the lab is experiencing  some postal delays at present. Once in the laboratory the sample was analysed in 4 working days and reported back by email the same day. Considering the laboratory staff are all coping with  the second lock- down and a huge growth in workload, this is extremely impressive. Judith has a good level of Vitamin D which would be expected from her long-term oral supplementation. Chris’s results have not come back yet which is not unusual. Chris and Judith’s samples may have been on separate runs, or the lab may have needed to reanalyse Chris’s sample as they wanted to check the result.

October 2020

Secret shopper: Su is a 28 year old female engineer who has worked mainly from home in Birmingham since lock-down. She takes a 25ug (1,000 IU) tablet of Vitamin D3 daily. Comments: Su has an adequate level but without her supplement she would almost certainly have been in the ‘insufficiency’ category. Turn-round is at the upper end of the laboratory  target, at 9 working days. The laboratory had some machine problems in mid-October requiring a service engineer for the LC-MS/MS equipment.

September 2020

Secret shopper: Richard is a 61 year old male, who works outdoors as a lawn care expert in Warwickshire, and has never taken vitamin D supplements. Comments: Laboratory: Turn round excellent at <2 working days in lab. Result: Richard’s level is in the ADEQUATE category. He was slightly underwhelmed, as he thought his Vitamin D would be higher with all his time outdoors over a sunny summer. He intends to take a supplement now through the winter. We might use him again in March and see how his level kept up without the sun.
BCPS-V. 2020/18/2 Last Updated: 22nd  November  2020 Review Date: 22nd April  2021