A LAW organisation is suing the government over the ‘catastrophic consequences of the false-negative Covid test result scandal.

On Monday, November 1 the Good Law Project launched the action against the health minister Sajid Javid over the Immensa testing scandal which saw 43,000 – mostly in Wiltshire and the south west – people given false negative Covid results.

In October, the Department of Health and Social Care put out a press release announcing that it was suspending test processing at the privately run lab, Immensa.

As previously reported, the Covid rates in the south west have soared higher than anywhere else in the country.

Director of public health for Wiltshire, Kate Blackburn explained how the rise in new cases seen over the past two weeks was down to these false-negative tests.

“Undoubtedly the issue with the laboratory with false PCR negative tests – predominantly affecting the south west – meant that people who were potentially infectious went back into the community and seeded the infection,” she said.

“That’s why we’ve seen such a big jump in the south west.”

Jo Maugham, director of Good Law Project said: “We don’t know why government chose to sidestep established testing facilities in universities and hospitals to send £119m to a newly formed private company. But the consequences have been catastrophic.

“Many people are likely to have lost their lives. We want answers for their families and the tens of thousands of others whose lives have been blighted by the Government’s inexplicable disregard for public health.”

According to the Good Law Project, Immensa is still being allowed to process PCR tests at its Loughborough lab.

It has also been revealed that the company has never been fully accredited to carry out tests, despite the government insisting that it was.

A DHSC spokesperson said: “The Immensa laboratory in Wolverhampton passed an independent quality audit overseen by NHS Test and Trace and is in the process of UKAS accreditation.”

The department added that it had advised the lab to stop private travel testing at the start of its investigation and has been assured that Immensa is not carrying out any private or international testing at the Wolverhampton lab.

Addressing journalists at the latest Covid briefing, Mrs Blackburn said that while cases in the county are going down – though they remain above the national average – that the issue with the false negative tests has “probably worked its way through the system”.

When asked on how many Wiltshire tests were affected by the scandal Mrs Blackburn said that the UK Health Security Agency had a big job ahead of the to unpack the impact of the tests.

“Many people are likely to have lost their lives”