Production line in operation

Government announces partnership with UK rapid test manufacturers

Contracts have been secured between the UK Government and two British companies manufacturing and supplying rapid lateral flow tests, which are being used extensively - particularly in community settings - to identify Covid-19 cases and limit the spread of infection.

The two companies, based in Thurleigh, England and Alva, Scotland respectively, have agreed deals with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

Under the terms of the agreements, the companies will provide manufacturing capacity for up to 200 million Covid-19 lateral flow tests, which can detect positive cases in under 30 minutes.

Rapid antigen testing can help quickly identify positive cases, allowing people who may have previously been asymptomatic or unaware they were carrying the virus to isolate immediately and break further chains of transmission.

Lateral flow tests have been a key part of the Government’s roadmap out of coronavirus restrictions, including supporting the return of children back to school, keeping healthcare staff and patients safe and supporting the reopening of certain businesses.

Including symptomatic and asymptomatic testing programmes, the UK Government is on track to surpass 100 million tests across the country in the coming days.

The contract awards are set to create around 470 additional jobs in total, both in Thurleigh and Alva and more widely throughout the production line and wider UK supply chain.

Speaking about the contract awards, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Rapid lateral flow tests are essential to help us identify cases of the virus we otherwise wouldn’t find and preventing the virus spreading in our workplaces and communities.

“These tests will help keep businesses open, our children return to school, people to visit their loved ones in care homes safely.

“British innovation is at the forefront of our response to this pandemic and this partnership with 2 Great British firms will help us to build back better by tapping into the UK’s domestic talent, ingenuity and industry.”

Lord Bethell, Minister for Health, added: “The UK continues to lead the way in medical diagnostics, and we are working with [British] companies to build on our expertise in the field.

“The whole industry has come together to respond to Covid-19 and get us back to the people and things we love, helping us stop the spread of the virus now while strengthening our resilience for the future.”

NHE Jan.Feb 21

NHE Jan/Feb 21

Creating a net zero NHS

NHE’s Jan/Feb 2021 edition focuses on the role of pharma working alongside the NHS, how we are working to digitise the health service and the ways in which the NHS can be involved in addressing the climate emergency.

Videos...

View all videos
BMC Whitepaper

Survey

How well do the NHS understand digital potential?

Recently we have been gathering primary data direct from those within the NHS on modernising NHS technology and the challenges faced around resource, training and service management.

Download the full whitepaper and read the full findings in our exclusive report to learn more.

Finger on the Pulse

Ep 14. Health messaging is a science, Professor Craig Jackson

On Episode 14 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, we're joined by Professor Craig Jackson, Professor of Occupational Health Psychology
Birmingham City University to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the health messaging around it and how those in power have missed a trick by overlooking the key role of psychology in informing the public of restrictions, measures and the ever-changing situation

More articles...

View all