The Covid test lab listed on the government website has made false claims about Business News

A Covid test lab that appears at the top of the list of government approved providers has never been accredited to process medical samples for any viruses, despite posting an accreditation number on its website.

Doctor-N-London Ltd is one of the top results on the government website which lists hundreds of providers for people needing a two-day PCR test after arriving in the UK.

The site links directly to the Doctor-N-London homepage which claimed that the company was formed to “challenge those who sought to exploit people during the pandemic” and that it “operated under the number UKAS 22542 ‘- a reference to the UK Accreditation Service (Ukas).

Ukas investigated the case after being alerted by The independent and confirmed that neither Doctor-N-London nor its trade name Spectrum Medica is accredited as a Covid testing lab or for any other purpose.

Doctor-N-London subsequently removed the Ukas number from its website – but the company, which advertises its clinic’s address at a Holiday Inn in Kensington, remains on the government’s list of approved providers.

Doctor-N-London is one of the top PCR test results on the website


Businesses without accreditation are allowed on the government list as long as they have submitted an application to Ukas and have “self-certified” that their contact details are correct. There is no suggestion that Doctor-N-London has failed to meet this requirement.

Doctor-N-London said the Ukas number was placed on their website due to “an error on the part of our partners in the IT team, and as soon as we found out we took advice. from Ukas and deleted it ”.

The company said it had a team of “three clinical physicians, one geneticist, one [Health and Care Professions] chartered scientist and senior engineer.

“We meet all the necessary requirements to run a Covid test lab. “

Rory Boland, Which? travel publisher, said consumers had been “disappointed” with the government’s list of PCR providers.

“It always shows companies that have misleading prices, fail to deliver tests on time, or don’t use accredited labs.

“Now the government has reintroduced pre-departure and day two PCR testing for all travelers, it must quickly implement the CMA’s recommendations and ensure that safe, reliable and affordable testing is available. “

The UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA), which is in charge of the government listing, said it could not comment on individual cases but all test providers appearing on must comply with ” strict minimum standards so that the public can have confidence. in the quality of the tests provided ”.

The discovery once again sheds light on the lightly regulated Covid testing industry that the government has failed to crack down on despite months of warnings about huge markups, poor customer service, missing tests and missing businesses.

The sector has been called a “jungle of scams” ​​by Lord Tyrie, former chairman of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Lord Tyrie told the BBC last week that “it looks like some of the worst practices – deceptive online advertisements; overpricing; unacceptably poor service among them – are still prevalent ”.

Lax controls have helped companies climb to the top of the list by offering tests for as little as 30p – tests that are not actually available.

Previously, companies were listed in alphabetical order, which resulted in a plethora of companies with names like “++ 001 Alpha Express Testing” and “!!! 0 – 100 Travel 19 Testing” – which stuck among the top search results this week. .

The UKHSA said it had removed 175 suppliers from the list. But consumer groups and testing experts say much stricter measures are needed as businesses can relocate within hours.

“We take any complaints raised very seriously and will not hesitate to remove any vendors listed on where appropriate,” a UKHSA spokesperson said.

Much of the criticism so far has not fallen on labs like Doctor-N-London, but on the hundreds of intermediaries who advertise the tests and send them to accredited labs for processing, often after billing. significant increases.

Simon Clarke, professor of cell microbiology at the University of Birmingham, said middlemen, or dealers, were of no use other than “taking money” from people who need to be tested.

Unlike laboratories such as Doctor-N-London, these intermediaries do not have to apply for Ukas accreditation.

Government guidelines state that test resellers cannot be on the approved list unless a lab has verified and certified that they meet minimum standards.

However, a government source said this was not enforced and intermediary companies were indeed allowed to self-certify their own credentials.

Reviews on the Trustpilot consumer website indicate that many of these companies have failed to deliver basic levels of customer service, with …

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This notice was published: 2021-12-14 18:34:03

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