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Case update 01 November 2021

Private testing firm Immensa missed quarter of positive Covid cases in South West – Government must get a grip

The photo shows a person dressed in personal protective clothing taking a swab out of a specimen bottle. In front of that, is the wording: 'Immensa scandal: we're bringing legal action.

Imagine you’ve been in contact with someone who has Covid. So, you do the right thing and order a PCR test. You are relieved when the test comes back negative – and you continue to take your children to school, go into work and care for your elderly relatives.

Then, six weeks later, you are contacted by a private testing firm who tell you you’re at the centre of one of the biggest scandals of the pandemic so far…

Along with tens of thousands of others, you were wrongly told you didn’t have Covid when, actually, you did. Through no fault of your own, the lives of your family and friends have been put in serious danger.

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This is the horror story facing 43,000 people who used a private testing firm that the Government assured us was safe. The scandal-hit lab is based in Wolverhampton and owned by a company called Immensa. Now, Covid rates in the South West are soaring higher than anywhere else in the country. 

Thousands of lives have been put at risk. How on earth could this be allowed to happen?

Government should have known about these major failings within days of the problem arising, yet it took weeks for them to shut down the site. Shockingly, Immensa is still being allowed to process people’s PCR tests for travel at their lab in Loughborough.

And now it transpires that Immensa was never fully accredited to carry out tests, despite the Government previously insisting it was. And somehow, it was awarded a £119m Government contract in September last year without going through the normal tendering process. 

We’ve written to Health Secretary Sajid Javid asking him to immediately terminate Immensa’s contracts, compensate those affected and to take action to properly regulate private testing firms. How many more wake-up calls does this Government need before it starts putting people’s safety ahead of private firms’ interests? 

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