Randox Covid-19 Testing: Evaluating the health, social and economic impacts
3rd April 2023: COVID-19 Report Reveals How Randox’s 25 Million PCR Tests Averted Thousands of Hospitalisations and Deaths And Delivered Billions of Pounds Of Economic Benefits
A new report on the work of leading diagnostics company Randox shows that its COVID-19 PCR testing in the public and private sectors averted more than 3,000 UK deaths and 14,100 additional hospitalisations during the pandemic emergency.
That assessment is contained in an evidence-based report into the performance and delivery of Randox during the crisis, compiled by internationally respected economic development consultants OCO Global.
As well as illustrating the impact of PCR testing on deaths and hospitalisations, the report provides an assessment of the wider economic benefit of the test and trace programme.
It reveals that Randox testing delivered £8.3 billion of benefits to the UK economy, by reducing transmission and expediting the return to work for key workers, as well as facilitating social engagement and international travel, crucial to economic recovery.
The report is believed to be one of the most comprehensive analyses of any company awarded government Covid-19 contracts. It will also be provided to the COVID-19 Public Inquiry to assist their considerations regarding future evidence that may be required.
In total, the OCO Global report confirms that Randox processed over 17 million PCR tests as part of the government’s national testing programme between March 2020 and June 2022. The company also provided a further 7.7 million PCR tests plus around 1.8 million lateral flow tests to corporate clients and international travelers.
The report estimates that Randox’s private testing facilitated 4.4 million international return journeys, many of them crucial to support the economy in a time of medical and financial emergency. Other tests supported the nation’s social fabric, enabling people to travel for leisure purposes and to meet families.
The evidence highlights the Northern Ireland-based company’s 40 years experience as one of the world’s leading diagnostic testing companies. This experience, says the OCO report, coupled with the company’s ability and willingness as a private business to innovate and invest its own resources in rapidly upscaling to meet the crisis enabled it successfully to deliver testing on a vast scale. The report also says that innovation in software, automation and robotics, in particular, helped ensure that Randox optimised laboratory efficiency and drove down costs to the benefit of contracting parties.
The report sets out the high level of financial risk taken by Randox during the pandemic and their rapid expansion of laboratories, staff levels and capacity to meet the emergency demand for testing.
In just ten months, Randox increased its capacity to process PCR tests – from 300 tests per day on March 30th 2020, to 120,000 per day by January 2021.
This involved building, equipping and staffing 80,000 square feet of PCR testing laboratory space at the Randox Science Park in County Antrim – the equivalent of a football pitch of new laboratory space.
Overall, the report confirms these improvements and development enabled Randox to deliver 12 per cent of the UK’s PCR testing – and a considerably higher percentage at times when Covid-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths rocketed to their highest levels. It also notes that the Randox rate of void samples was 15 per cent below the average for the testing programme as a whole.
The report adds: “These improvements would be passed on to the UK Treasury as Randox was able to drive down the cost of testing from £49.60 to £18.00.
“Private individuals also benefited from Randox process improvement as the company was at the forefront of driving down the price of private testing. By October 2021 the cost of a PCR test (click and collect) would be £34.99, a 70 percent decrease from December 2020.” This price included the sample collection kits and all logistics and services, not within the government contracts.
In assessing Randox’s performance the report goes on to say: “Randox is a privately owned company that can make decisions quickly and this proved invaluable in the frenetic early stages of the pandemic when companies and governments across the world were scrambling for supplies and consumables.
“Randox’s willingness to invest came with significant risk: through the majority of the National Testing Programme, Randox were only paid for tests completed and there were no guarantees that payment for the number of tests indicatively contracted for would be received.
“This placed considerable risk with Randox who were having to purchase vast quantities of consumables, despite the uncertainty around how long the pandemic would last or how government policy might change.
“It was this successful risk management which enabled Randox to be one of the best performing laboratories across the National Testing Programme.”
Gareth Hagan, CEO of OCO Global said:
“OCO Global was commissioned by Randox to compile a full, open and comprehensive report into the value of the company’s work, performance and delivery of PCR testing during the pandemic. Randox was a cooperative partner, providing access both to data and to personnel from across the organisation.
“We were able to use external interviews and data sources to corroborate our research. We are satisfied that the facts and the evidence-based findings of our report accurately reflect the work of Randox during the Covid-19 emergency.”
A spokesman for Randox said:
“We believe this report delivers clear evidence of the performance, outcomes and value of the work which Randox is proud to have carried out during one of the greatest peacetime emergencies to have hit the world and the UK.
Gareth Hagan is interview for media interview
OCO Global is a leading specialist provider of trade and investment services. Headquartered in Northern Ireland, OCO Global has offices in the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Japan, UAE, China and the U.S.
OCO Global’s clients include leading national, state and regional economic development organizations such as The Department For International Trade (DIT), Enterprise Florida and The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), as well as private companies seeking to enter new markets or grow their domestic base, including EY, PWC, Siemens, Smiley Monroe, Pepsico and Santander.
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