A COVID test site has been shut down as the probe into incorrect PCR results affecting people in Wiltshire and the south west continues.

Readers have contacted the Adver complaining that their lateral flow tests are showing that they have coronavirus, but then the confirmatory PCR test shows a negative result.

NHS Test and Trace investigated the growing claims after a national spotlight was shone on the issue and has now suspended operations provided by Immensa Health Clinic Ltd at its lab in Wolverhampton.

It estimates 400,000 samples have been processed through the lab, the vast majority of which will have been negative results, but an estimated 43,000 people may have been given incorrect negative PCR test results between September 8 and October 12, mostly in the south west of England.

NHS Test and Trace say this is an isolated incident, with all sample now being redirected. They will be contacting people who could still be infectious to advise them to take another test. 

Dr Will Welfare, public health incident director at the UK Health Security Agency, said: “We have recently seen a rising number of positive LFD results subsequently testing negative on PCR.

"As a result of our investigation, we are working with NHS Test and Trace and the company to determine the laboratory technical issues which have led to inaccurate PCR results being issued to people. We have immediately suspended testing at this laboratory while we continue the investigation.

“There is no evidence of any faults with LFD or PCR test kits themselves and the public should remain confident in using them and in other laboratory services currently provided.

"If you get a positive LFD test, it’s important to make sure that you then get a follow up PCR test to confirm you have COVID-19. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, self-isolate and take a PCR test.”

Immensa Health Clinic Ltd's CEO, Andrea Riposati issues the following comment: "We are fully collaborating with UKHSA on this matter. Quality is paramount for us. We have proudly analyzed more than 2.5M samples for NHS Test and Trace, working closely with the great teams at DHSC and UKHSA.

"We do not wish this matter or anything else to tarnish the amazing work done by the UK in this pandemic."

Close contacts who are symptomatic are advised to take a test in line with normal practice. 

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should book a PCR test.

Those with a positive Lateral Flow test should get a follow up PCR test to confirm they have COVID-19.