Paid covid study from ONS is it genuine?

(106 Posts)
Babymamamama Sat 18-Jul-20 21:42:50

I've just had an important looking letter in the post marked "On Her Majesty's Service" inviting my household to take part in a paid study to be swabbed regularly for covid over the course of a year. Apparently the reimbursement is up to £425 per family member. I'm trying to work out if this is a genuine study. To be honest I'd participate in this kind of thing for free if it could help the scientists in any way. Has anyone else had such a letter? I'm trying to work out whether we've been randomly selected, if this is going to everyone across the country, or is it some kind of con? Please let me know your thoughts if you've had the letter too. Apparently it's a joint study with university of oxford and office for national statistics. Not sure if I'm being naive and should bin it or not.

OP’s posts: |
BikeRunSki Sat 18-Jul-20 21:44:37

Not me

Babymamamama Sat 18-Jul-20 21:45:25

Thanks bike good to know

OP’s posts: |
theriverrunsdeep Sat 18-Jul-20 21:49:21

If you have a look at this site

it should be clear whether its genuine. If it was me I would definitely want to help - but the £425 would be a nice bonus too.

BooseysMom Sat 18-Jul-20 21:51:33

DF had a letter asking him to do an antibody test but he didnt bother. He's 82. Don't think it's the same as yours

Babymamamama Sat 18-Jul-20 22:06:46

Thanks theriverrunsdeep it does seem to be genuine having gone onto the website.
Booseysmum no it's not antibody testing (although I'd be super up for doing that) it's the swab testing for covid. Weekly for the first month and then every month for a year. My only reservation is that they want to come into your house to do the testing. I will ring on Monday and see if they could carry out the visit in the garden. Seems safer all round. I'm definitely up for helping with this. I've always wanted to do jury service (bit weird I know!) but this seems just as meaningful and important really. You have to ring up to sign up so I will do that next week. Wondering if I can rope in DD and DP too- apparently they prefer to do all the household which makes sense.

OP’s posts: |
Curlyfrizzball Sat 18-Jul-20 23:29:42

We have been taking part in this study for a few months now, and it is 100% genuine. I assume they are expanding and therefore asking other people?

Yes, the nurses come to the house, but they keep distance and show you how to do the test and then you swab yourselves. They have sometimes done it in the garden and sometimes in the house, but I’m sure they would be more than happy to do it outside every time if you prefer. I’ve been really pleased to be involved and feel like I’m doing something useful.

Babymamamama Sun 19-Jul-20 00:19:37

That is really encouraging curly. Thanks. I'm glad it's genuine.

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BooseysMom Sun 19-Jul-20 09:01:20

@Babymamamama.. that sounds great. Glad it's genuine after all.

LEELULUMPKIN Wed 05-Aug-20 14:43:37

I've just received one and I am definitely signing us up. I really hope it helps.

The sooner this nightmare ends, the better!

Lindy2 Wed 05-Aug-20 15:24:04

DD got asked to do a one off random test. No remuneration. She did it as requested.

They are writing to people regarding test research so potentially it is real. Can you check on any websites?

TrickyKid Wed 05-Aug-20 15:27:06

We're doing one with the national office of statistics which is £2000 for the year. I've had the first months payment, it's definitely genuine.

AWryGiraffe Thu 06-Aug-20 18:47:45

We got a letter today and have signed up. You actually get your test results with this one unlike the antibody study I'm in.

RooKangaroo Thu 06-Aug-20 19:16:08

I got a letter for this today too. Me and DH will be signing up.

Think the DC are too young, but we'll try and talk to them about it.

fucknuckle Thu 06-Aug-20 20:06:05

so, ‘vouchers’ as payment - what are they valid for?

Deardonkey Thu 06-Aug-20 20:13:28

@fucknuckle they are love2shop vouchers so can be used in numerous places.

I’ve signed up and am waiting to be contacted for the first visit.

fucknuckle Thu 06-Aug-20 20:21:53

i looked it up. looks a good range of stores including amazon.

i was also picked at ‘random’ by the ONS for a home swab test a few weeks ago. anyone else had both? or am i just on some sort of watchlist?!

fucknuckle Thu 06-Aug-20 20:22:59

i signed up for this as well. why not, if i’ll be getting paid for it!

DontBeShelfish Thu 06-Aug-20 20:37:02

Hmm, do you get selected for this or can you volunteer? Eyes up cash bonus

fucknuckle Thu 06-Aug-20 21:06:16

i was ‘randomly selected’ for the recent one-off home test, and now for this one. who knows what the criteria actually are?

<waves to GCHQ>

TrickyKid Thu 06-Aug-20 21:26:30

The vouchers we got are for Voucher Shop and include Asda and Sainsburys so really useful. We've not had to pay for any shopping for the last two weeks.

Mrsemcgregor Thu 20-Aug-20 18:45:29

Not wanting to seem grabby but how long did it take you to get your vouchers?

We did our first ONS Covid teat last week (same £425 in vouchers 12 mont study) but haven’t heard anything at all, no results or vouchers?

The chap just called to confirm another test tomorrow so I’m still “in the system”!

I’m happy to help for free, but would also find the vouchers super handy grin

WonderOnTheUp Thu 20-Aug-20 20:30:17

I work at the ONS and involved a little with this survey. One of the samples invited to take part are also included in the random sample for the other survey as if they have engaged with one they are likely to engage with another, increasing the response rates. Due to the importance of the survey it was deemed the best way forward.

LouiseNW Thu 20-Aug-20 20:32:42

Our daughter has been invited to be tested regularly by the ONS ( randomly arrived after a hospital birth).
No mention of “reimbursement”.
She will take part, first test being delivered this week,

BameChange123 Sat 22-Aug-20 04:42:49

We received our invite on the 19th August. Our household is already involved in the ONS long term national labour force study for at least the past 15 years so am guessing that was why we were selected, due to likely participation. Think I will do it but not sure others in my household will want a long term commitment to being tested but might do a one-off

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