Blog

Jan 21, 2021
Daily COVID-19 testing of school students and teachers has been paused by Government after Public Health England recommended the suspension of lateral flow tests in these settings due to questions over their widespread use in rapid testing programmes. Gavin Williamson, the Education Minister, had hailed the daily school testing as a “milestone moment” five weeks ago upon the scheme’s launch. PHE stated its uncertainty over the initiative as it balanced the risks and potential o...
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Dec 17, 2020
The newly initiated Test to Release programme for screening air travel passengers has experienced setbacks in its first week of operation. As part of the scheme announced in October, passengers may cut their self-isolation period short if they receive a negative COVID-19 test result five days after arriving in the UK from abroad. Tests are sold by private companies and COVID-negative tests allow passengers to reduce their isolation from ten days to five (likely to be eight due to processing time...
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Dec 09, 2020
An online scenario-based testing tool has been developed in the USA which could greatly assist organisational efforts regarding surveillance testing. Scientists from the Massachusetts General Hospital Consortia for Improving Medicine with Innovation and Technology (CIMIT) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) collaborated on the project. The COVID-19 Testing Impact Calculator is a free resource that helps demonstrate how particular testing approaches can be undertaken to curb the sprea...
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Dec 03, 2020
The APPG for Life Sciences has continued its activities to update and inform MPs and Peers on the work of our sector over the autumn  The latest session focussed on the NICE Methods Review’s implications for patients and the life sciences sector. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently undertaking a crucial review of the methods it uses to determine whether new medicines can be offered to patients in the NHS. The review has major implications for the ...
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Nov 25, 2020
The Government has been told to improve its performance regarding testing after reports circulated of tests provided to members of the public and care homes going missing. Many reported having to wait days or weeks until they were contacted, only to be told that their test sample was unable to be located. Some care homes have even said that bags of tests taken from their residents have been mislaid and no results returned to them. As a result, they had to re-take the tests and send them back for...
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Nov 24, 2020
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told MPs that the UK should retain COVID-19 diagnostics facilities for use in testing for wider illnesses and check-ups. The infrastructure created to manage COVID-19 testing should be retained and put to further use such as routine testing procedures. Giving evidence to a Commons committee hearing, the Health Secretary stated that he wanted “this massive diagnostics capacity to be core to how we treat people in the NHS” in the long term.“Havin...
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Nov 20, 2020
Liquid handling - How pressure-over-liquid provides precise, accurate and cost-effective throughput – Webinar Invitation As part of Festo’s productivity know-how series, this 45-minute webinar will explain: The principle of a pressure-over-liquid approach and how it compares with syringe pumpsThe advantages of pressure-over -liquid such as: Greater sample throughput and increased capacity A higher level of precision and accuracy A greater bandwidth of dispense volume using...
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Nov 18, 2020
Please see below a letter from the Business Secretary Alok Sharma to the Life Sciences industry regarding preparation actions to undertake ahead of the end of the Transition Period. However, it does not contain any significant update to BEIS guidance previously sent to companies. 
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Nov 17, 2020
The Government is working with the social care sector to make coronavirus testing available to allow visitors to see loved ones in care homes by Christmas. English care homes will have access to testing services to facilitate COVID-secure visits, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed. A screening pilot scheme was launched this Monday across 20 care home sites in Hampshire, Devon and Cornwall. A wider roll-out across the country is expected in December in time for Christmas, depending on th...
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Nov 09, 2020
“Good progress” is being made on the Government’s new airport testing programme, according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. Government’s plans for airport testing are to launch a programme just after the end of England’s lockdown on 2nd December. The progress was announced by the minister on BBC Radio 4, who said that testing could lead to a “much reduced” self-isolation period for travellers than the current 14-day mandatory timeframe. Mr Shapps tol...
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