Oxford BioBank COVID-19 Participant Information

What is the purpose of the Oxford Biobank?

The Oxford BioBank has been running since 1999, we now have >9,000 participants and we now are starting a workplace-based (Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust, OUHFT) collection of staff with an initial study of COVID-19 related disease within the Oxford BioBank with a goal of reaching 20,000 over the next 5 years.

Why should I take part?

The workplace based OUHFT staff inclusion is conducted in connection with a call to participate in a COVID-19 survey opened to all staff in 2020. Recently you have or will be donating a blood sample and nasal swab sample as an OUHFT work-place based employee. These samples would ordinarily be destroyed after the biochemistry department have run their tests.  We are asking you for permission to store those “left-over” samples for possible future COVID-19 research and research on other chronic diseases.

Do I have to take part?

No.  It is up to you to decide.  If you decide to take part, you sample can be used for further COVID-19 related research and other research in to adult chronic disease, but if you decide not to take part the COVID-19 testing (the throat swab and the antibody test) will proceed.

What happens if I agree to take part?

When you agreed to provide the samples to the COVID-19 survey, you checked the box to be contacted about future research and your contact email has been passed securely to the Oxford BioBank Team. We would now like to get consent from you to store your leftover samples in the Oxford BioBank facility in OCDEM at the Churchill Hospital.

We are sending you this Information sheet and a personal coded link to the Oxford BioBank consent form. We ask you to click on the link, read, and decide if you agree to tick the box after each statement and thereby signing the consent form. A member of the Oxford BioBank team will co-sign the consent form and return copy for your records.

If you have any questions or anything that you wish to discuss first, please contact the OBB team,

Prof Fredrik Karpe 01865 857222 or Jane Cheeseman 07745097930

Some of the stored sample will be used to process DNA to look at genes of interest to the researchers working on COVID-19, this information is unlikely to have any implications to you personally. The sample DNA can also be used to look at adult chronic disease and we will be asking for your permission to link to health data held within NHS. At a later stage you may be asked if you wish to take part in a full screening visit with the Oxford BioBank.

Should you decide to withdraw from the BioBank at any time, you can choose to have the samples destroyed. Any samples already given to the researchers for analysis will not be able to be withdrawn.


The data that we obtain from you will be strictly confidential.  You will be assigned a study number which is a unique identifier in our database and on your samples.  This makes you means that it will not be possible for anyone who uses your samples in research to identify you. This database is stored on a secure server that routinely handles sensitive information and procedures are in place to ensure the highest possible data security and integrity.

Any data released to researchers will be in an electronic form and not include any personal information that could identify you.

Please click on this link for more information about how your data is used and protected.

Privacy Notice – http://www.oxfordbiobank.org.uk/for-volunteers-2/data-protection/

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

There are no advantages but the study will allow us to have a better understanding of common diseases and how to prevent them.

What if there is a problem?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, you should ask to speak with the OBB Team (01865-857284).  If you remain unhappy and wish to complain formally, the University of Oxford has a formal complaints procedure and one of the team members will provide you with the information. The University of Oxford takes responsibility for the biobank and has appropriate insurance in place in the unlikely event that you suffer any harm as a direct consequence of your participation in the Biobank. 

What will happen to the study results?

You will not be identified personally in any report or publication.

Future studies

If you agree to participate in the Oxford Biobank we might approach you at a later date to ask if you are willing to participate in more detailed studies.  At that time you are completely free to state that you are not willing to participate, and you should not feel committed to participate because you have previously donated a blood sample.

Who is organising and funding the Oxford Biobank?

The Research is organised by a team from the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism, Churchill Hospital, Oxford and is funded by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.

If you have any queries about anything regarding the Oxford Biobank please contact the team on:

Email: obb@ocdem.ox.ac.uk

For more information about the Oxford BioBank please visit our

 website  http://www.oxfordbiobank.org.uk/

Who has reviewed the study?

All research is looked at by an independent group of people, called a Research Ethics Committee, to protect your interests.  This study has been reviewed and given a favourable opinion by South Central-Oxford C Research Ethics Committee, 18/SC/0588

Version: 1.1 05/05/2020