Many reports follow of people receiving a negative PCR test result after previously returning a positive result via a lateral flow device (LFD).
The lab is owned by Immensa Health Clinic, a private company which was first set up in May 2020 and subsequently awarded a £ 120million contract to the government to provide testing services in the UK.
NHS Test and Trace estimates that around 400,000 samples were processed by the lab. The 43,000 incorrect test results were handed in between Sept. 8 and Oct. 12, the UKHSA said.
Authorities are contacting those affected who may still be contagious to advise them to take another test.
“We have recently seen an increasing number of positive LFD results subsequently turning negative by PCR,” said Dr Will Welfare, UKHSA director of public health incidents.
“As a result of our investigation, we are working with NHS Test and Trace and the company to determine the technical laboratory issues that have led to the publication of inaccurate PCR results. We immediately suspended testing in that lab while we continue the investigation. “
The UKHSA said there were no technical issues with the LFD or PCR test kits themselves. He added that the incident was specific to Wolverhampton’s only laboratory, with all samples now being redirected elsewhere for processing.
“After receiving reports from local residents in recent weeks that there were concerns about the accuracy of the test results at the site, we have referred these concerns to DHSC for further investigation,” the council said. in a press release.
“DHSC has now confirmed that a number of sites nationwide may have been affected by this issue, including the one at Newbury Showground. “
Those who tested negative for a PCR test between 3 and 12 October, as well as their close contacts, were “strongly” encouraged by the local authority to take another test.