The UK's largest Covid-19 testing lab prioritizes Premiership rugby stars and travelers to Dubai, company insiders have said.
Randox Laboratories in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland, has reportedly regularly fail to provide test results to the public within 24 hours.
The lab is responsible for a quarter of all community testing across the UK after winning a £ 133 million contract in March.
Randox Laboratories in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland, prioritize Premiership rugby stars and travelers to Dubai, company insiders said
Randox completed less than one in ten tests on time on September 9, and was forced to discard more tests than any other lab due to human error, according to a report in the Sunday Times quoting leaked documents.
Staff said that tests by rugby players and coaches are given "priority status" and are flown to Antrim by helicopter every week. The results are usually available by 9 a.m. the next day.
It is alleged that those who travel to Dubai receive similar special treatment. On September 2, Randox said it was "pleased" to sign a new contract to screen passengers to Dubai.
It came the same day, 12,401 tests were invalidated without explanation.
Sources told the publication that the Northern Irish laboratory cannot process tests quickly enough after doing too much work.
The company is said to have major personnel problems – 35,000 tests have been invalid since early August.
The company, based in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, allegedly blame leaks, damaged tubing and people who send urine rather than saliva as grounds for voiding the tests.
In July, Randox was forced to recall half a million test kits after tests showed they were not sterile.
Randox Laboratories was founded in 1982 by Dr. Peter FitzGerald and currently employs more than 1,500 people. Dr. Fitzgerald pictured above
The laboratory continues to play a key role in Covid-19 testing ahead of an expected second wave of falls.
Despite its alleged struggles, Randox is taking on commercial test contracts and is reportedly currently in negotiations with Boots.
Randox Laboratories was founded in 1982 by Dr. Peter FitzGerald and currently employs more than 1,500 people, including in Brazil, America and India.
A pharmacist speaks to a customer with a security screen in a Boots store in London as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues. Randox is reportedly currently in negotiations with Boots
The lab employs Conservative MP Owen Paterson as an advisor for £ 100,000 a year, which is slightly more than his MP salary.
Paterson has previously hired the government on behalf of the company. Randox has insisted that his relationship with Mr. Paterson played no part in winning the multi-million dollar deal from the government.
It also refused to prioritize commercial contracts.
"Randox pays great attention to all contractual obligations and fully recognizes the critical importance of compliance with these obligations with regard to the national testing program," the company said in a statement.
It comes amid growing anger over government testing problems as centers across the UK face large queues and a backlog of people
& # 39; Randox does not prioritize commercial work over other work processes. We do not comment on commercial matters. We do not have the practice of invalidating large numbers of test kits on a daily basis.
"On average, the Randox Void Rate is comparable across the program."
It comes amid growing anger over government testing problems as centers across the UK face large queues and a backlog of people.
Parents in Bolton and Hull have complained about having difficulty getting tests for their children sent home from school "runny noses".
Meanwhile, others have reported driving two hours from West Sussex only to be turned away without a test and even told to do a 280-mile round trip from Durham to Edinburgh.
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