2 years on…since the development of the Randox COVID-19 Biochip

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2 years on…since the development of the Randox COVID-19 Biochip

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Wednesday 02 February 2022: 2 years since the Randox COVID-19 Biochip

February 2022 marks 2 years since the development of the Randox COVID-19 Biochip.

In February 2020, based on almost four decades of experience in diagnostic R&D, including the development of a CE marked panel of tests for fifteen respiratory viruses, as well as tests for SARS and MERS, Randox recognised the threat from COVID-19 and quickly developed a test to accurately identify the virus.

And a lot has happened since then…

Randox’s capability was recognised by the UK government and since March 2020 Randox has been contracted to provide COVID-19 testing support to the UK’s Pillar 2 National Testing Programme. The company immediately pivoted to move from a 9-5 business to a 24|7 operation.

Through the enormous effort and commitment of its staff Randox has (at the time of writing) processed more than 23 million gold-standard PCR tests for the National Testing Programme and for international travel – providing a reliable service to enable COVID-safe travel which facilitates personal, family and business engagements and activities during the pandemic.

Demonstrating its commitment to helping people live their lives as easily and normally as possible, and to enhance accessibility to travel testing, the company partnered with major airlines including British Airways, Easyjet, Ryanair, Wizz Air, Cathay Pacific, and Jet2, travel providers such as TUI, and travel agents including the DNATA Travel Group, to provide discounted travel tests. By investing in testing capacity, logistic capabilities, and the introduction of a dedicated Customer Support team, Randox could make greater efficiencies that allowed it to reduce the price of PCR testing and become the most competitive service in the UK and Ireland.

During the 2020 Olympic Games, Randox got Team GB safely to the starting line in Tokyo by providing the Olympians with its premium COVID-19 testing, a service which it also provided for the ParalympicsGB athletes. A number of other sporting organisations opted to make Randox their COVID-19 testing provider of choice for their players and supporting staff, including the Irish Football Association, the US Men’s National Soccer Team, and Premiership Rugby, to ensure a COVID-safe training environment. Using Randox diagnostic technologies, companies like Norbrook Laboratories and Northern Ireland Screen were able to implement a staff screening programme that demonstrated a high standard of duty of care to their employees.

As and when required, Randox rapidly established new customer-focused services catered to the needs of the ever-changing travel testing guidelines. In May 2021, for example, Randox launched a ‘test to return’ service for UK holidaymakers returning home from Portugal and requiring predeparture tests before their return flight. In a first for the industry, passengers were able to take their PCR kit to Portugal and return their sample to one of Randox’s partner labs in the Algarve, before Randox flew the samples back to its labs in the UK for testing.

2 years on

The company also provides tests for COVID-19 antibodies, as well as lateral flow testing services, where such tests satisfy international travel requirements, and has developed an innovative phone app to securely process and verify customer identification and results in just 15 minutes.

Randox has amongst the very largest laboratories in Europe and since the start of the pandemic has built, equipped and staffed 80,000 sq ft of PCR testing facilities, in Northern Ireland, Manchester and Greater London, and 50,000 sq ft of supporting logistic and engineering space. Randox has opened a number of mobile testing labs as well as almost 30 travel clinics, for COVID-19 testing appointments and over-the-counter home testing kit purchases. Walk-through and drive-through test centres have opened across a number of key airport locations, some in partnership with renowned travel services provider Collinson.

Randox is the only testing provider in the UK within this reporting period to have reported over 100,000 PCR results in a single day. Turnaround times for test results are rigorously monitored to meet the needs of both Government and private customers.

The company has more than doubled its workforce since 2020 and has developed a robust and comprehensive nationwide logistics network for the timely distribution and return of sample collection kits and samples.  In collaboration with reputable partners including Morrisons supermarkets, Wells Pharmacies, Roadchef and PayPoint, Randox has established almost 200 PCR sample dropboxes and over 1500 click and collect sites, with the aim of improving customer accessibility and simplifying the process of COVID-19 testing requirements.

By responding rapidly, dynamically and cost-effectively to an ever-changing environment, with updates to travel testing requirements often being made at short notice, Randox has played an important role in managing the effects of the pandemic in both the UK and Ireland, facilitating safe social and economic activity, including international travel.

 

For further information on Covid testing services please contact the Randox Covid Customer Support team on 028 9434 3005.

For press enquiries please contact Amy Millar in the Randox PR team: randoxpr@randox.com

 

Want to know more?

Contact us or visit Randox Health.

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We Are Randox | Cristina Zenha in Randox Portugal celebrates 25 years with us

What makes Randox the successful, innovative and forward-thinking company it is today are the passionate, hard-working and talented staff we’re lucky enough to call our colleagues.

Our staff are our best asset and across every division our team help to save lives – whether it be designing the newest Biochip to test for Alzheimer’s disease, developing the latest software for use in hospitals and universities, making food safer for people to eat, or managing our global offices, to ensure our pioneering health technologies make their way across the world to where they are needed the most.

Our headquarters are in Northern Ireland, but we have teams based all over the world, including in Portugal, where Cristina Zenha works as part of the Portuguese Finance Team.

2017 is a special year for Cristina.  It marks 25 years since she began her job with Randox.

We sat down with Cristina to ask her about her time with us, to find out how she thinks the company has changed during that time, and of course to congratulate her on her exciting milestone!

Here’s Cristina’s story.

 

My name is Cristina Zenha and I work in the Finance team in Randox Portugal in Oporto.

 For those of you who don’t know the area, the weather is very good here in Oporto. It’s not very cold in winter, nor is it very hot in summer. It’s just right!  During the summer I love going to the Algarve for my holidays. There are beautiful beaches and the weather is excellent, so it’s a very popular holiday destination for both the Portuguese and for tourists.

In Portugal, Randox is based in Oporto City, which as one of the oldest tourist destinations in Europe, has a wonderful artistic heritage. The Port Wine, the vast spaces dedicated to leisure and culture, and the relaxed way of life are just some of the reasons I would recommend visiting the city!

We also have excellent cuisine here in Portugal.  Seafood is very popular and we have several famous cod recipes.  In Oporto specifically, we have a very famous dish called Francesinha, which is a Portuguese sandwich made with bread, ham, fresh sausage and steak, covered with melted cheese and a hot thick tomato and beer sauce, and served with french fries.

Before I moved into the world of full-time work I worked in my parents’ grocery store, which sparked my interest in business.  Then I began my first serious job in Randox Portugal when I was only 19 years old, and studied part-time Business Management in Oporto Lusiada University.  I took my university classes in the evening to work around my job with Randox.

When I had my interview I had a really good feeling about Randox.  I could tell that this company, which was only just beginning to establish itself in Portugal, was going to go far.  I could see myself developing both personally and professionally in what was evidently a globally successful organisation. I knew I would learn a lot.

When I started my job with Randox in Oporto I was involved in processing orders, documenting stock, and organising customer invoices and receipts.  However in the 25 years I’ve worked here, my job, and the office itself have evolved and changed.  My current responsibilities have progressed to additionally include office finances and accounts, and I also manage the logistics of our site.

How we work in the team has also changed drastically.  I remember when I first started in 1992 there were no computers so everything was done manually. I had a typewriter to make invoices, receipts and letters. We created manual maps for everything and we updated everything manually.

The team itself has more than doubled in size, in spite of a number of economic crises in Portugal during that period.  The infrastructure in Randox, and its offering of highly innovative diagnostics has meant that demand for our products has continued to increase. We have a fantastically passionate team in place who all want to see the business succeed and everyone works together to bring next-generation healthcare to hospitals and laboratories across Portugal.

I think that’s one of the reasons I love my job so much.  Each member of the team here has an important role to play and we each contribute to Randox’s vision of saving lives.  It’s fast-paced and challenging, but that’s what I love. I like the structure in place and I enjoy the satisfaction that comes with resolving issues and contributing to increased sales and overall business success. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Randox. I know that the company will continue to grow and succeed and I feel privileged to be involved in its journey.

I want to say a big thank you to everyone with whom I have worked during my 25 years here at Randox.  I love everyone I work with and you are such a big part of why I have loved my time here so much.  I want to say a big thank you in particular to Bob Allan in Finance, who was one of the first people I met in Randox.  He has always been on hand to support the work we do in the Portuguese office, and the way in which he made me feel so welcome and supported will always be one of my favourite memories of my first 25 years working in Randox.

Here’s to the next 25!

Cristina

 

Congratulations Cristina on your 25 year milestone with us here at Randox. You are a real asset to our global healthcare company and we are delighted to have you as part of our team!

For more We Are Randox stories about our amazing colleagues, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #WeAreRandox.

For current vacancies in our team, visit careers.randox.com


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