Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell (HL5829) on 21 October, what is the cost of sending 150,000 tests under the Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT-1) to German laboratories; what impact did the additional time taken to process these tests in Germany have on NHS test and trace services; which company or companies process the tests in Germany; whether the contract procurement process for the company or companies in Germany was completed in accordance with Cabinet Office rules and guidance; and what assessment they have made of the impact of any future trade deal with the EU on their ability to procure laboratory services in Germany.
The cost of sending tests to German laboratories as part of the REACT-1 study is variable subject to the volume of tests being completed per round. The testing process for this study has been expedient with it playing a vital role in supporting NHS Test and Trace with important surveillance information.
The tests for REACT-1 are processed in Germany by Eurofins Biomnis whose services have been procured in accordance with relevant legislation and guidance. The impact of using laboratory services within the European Union has been and continues to be considered. No undue impact has been identified of any future trade deal on the future of the REACT-1 study.