Government hasn’t explained differing statements on lab accused of inaccurate Covid-19 results
22 October 2021
What was claimed
The Immensa lab, which may have given more than 43,000 inaccurate PCR test results, was fully accredited before being appointed by the government.
This was originally stated by a government spokesperson, however it later emerged that it was untrue. The government told Full Fact that the lab was in the “early stages” of accreditation, but did not explain the discrepancy between the two statements.
When Full Fact asked the DHSC why a government spokesperson had initially said the lab was fully accredited when this was untrue, it did not reply directly to the question. Instead, the way in which the lab was described changed.
A spokesperson told us: “The Immensa laboratory in Wolverhampton passed an independent quality audit overseen by NHS Test and Trace and is in the early stages of the process for UKAS accreditation [emphasis our own].”
Full Fact has contacted the DHSC for further comment about the discrepancy between these statements, but has not yet received a response.
Standards of accuracy in government communication must be higher. It is essential that mistakes are corrected quickly and openly. Full Fact has called for a framework for how suspected errors in public communications by ministers, officials or public bodies should be dealt with.