Randox response to Sunday Times Article 20 September 2020
STATEMENT FROM RANDOX: 20 September 2020
- Randox has committed 99% of its Covid-19 testing capacity to the national testing programme.
- Randox are fully committed to the national testing programme and robustly refute accusations within today’s Sunday Times.
- On 19th September Randox successfully reported to the national programme almost 10,000 samples beyond its committed daily rate.
- The majority of samples which are voided at Randox are down to logistical reasons outside Randox’s control. Samples voided at Randox’s laboratories are comparable to other laboratories across the programme. Every voided sample is properly accounted for.
- Randox does not prioritise private samples over comparable samples within the testing programme.
- Randox staff have performed extraordinarily well and are our strongest asset.
- All Randox investment in rapidly increasing capacity to the national testing programme has been through its own private resources.
Randox are fully committed to supporting the national Covid-19 testing programme and fully recognise the importance of this work to the economic and social well-being of the nation. We have made significant private investment to increase capacity and drive process improvements. We work very closely with all partners within the programme to ensure the most effective possible testing.
Randox robustly refutes accusations in today’s Sunday Times (Sunday 20th September 2020) that private samples are prioritised over comparable samples within the national testing programme.
This is a gross mis-representation of the facts on the ground with regard to its processes.
We reiterate that Randox does not prioritise private samples over comparable samples from the national testing programme.
Once processed into Randox’s laboratories the vast majority of all samples are reported on within 24 hours. It is inaccurate and unreliable to claim that Randox has completed fewer than one in 10 tests on time. In fact Randox is successfully meeting and exceeding the capacity requirements agreed with Government and fulfilling its contractual obligations. Moreover Randox is successfully reporting above our commitment to Government for the national testing programme.
On average the Randox void rate is comparable across the programme. It is important to note that whilst all laboratories conduct the voiding of samples, the reason for the voiding most frequently lies outside the laboratory – normally user or logistic type issues. It is extremely inaccurate and misleading to claim that Randox, or indeed any laboratory, voids samples without explanation.
Every sample is receipted in accordance with stipulated, formal procedures and processed accordingly. This includes cross-referencing every sample barcode electronically with the national registration database. Every sample is appropriately accounted for and samples will only be voided if, due to the quality of the sample, the results could not be guaranteed as reliable. Every sample is fully assessed and if voided is allocated a formal reason for void, and all void statistics are reported daily to Government for further analysis.
It is important to note that Randox is not responsible for the sample logistics of the national programme and, as requested by the national programme, often receives samples in excess of daily capacity to report on within the following days. This is manageable given the time that samples remain valid.
Randox is a private sector diagnostics company, has been in operation since 1982 and operates in 145 countries across the globe. As such Randox have experience of a wide range of public and private sector responsibilities. Randox takes great care in meeting all of its contractual obligations and fully recognises the critical importance of meeting those obligations with regard to the national testing programme.
Randox does not prioritise commercial work ahead of other work streams.
As stated to the Sunday Times, staffing levels are not an issue and holidays have not impacted on throughput – Randox is currently successfully above our commitment to government.
We reiterate that Owen Paterson MP has played no role in securing any Randox contract with DHSC.
Randox staff have been extraordinary in their commitment and dedication in meeting unparalleled need at a time of national crisis, often in the face of ill-informed and misplaced criticism. We salute our staff.
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