Covid Testing Network is no longer operating. For any queries please contact one the former directors through LinkedIn.

A brief history of Covid Testing Network:

Conceived by Mike Fischer CBE and his colleagues at Systems Biology Laboratory, Covid Testing Network (CTN) was set up by a team of dedicated volunteers in March 2020. Seed-funded with £1m from the Fischer Family Foundation, our original mission was to support the UK’s testing effort by building a nationwide network of labs to deliver free PCR screening for GPs and care homes - at a time when the government not was offering this. We provided funding for and helped source test materials and the labs volunteered their time, expertise and equipment.

CTN was subsequently contracted by Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) in May 2020 and provided testing for some hard to reach parts of the population including for homeless and women’s shelters as well as GPs and care homes.

As the government lighthouse labs came online, DHSC ended their contract with CTN and at this time CTN ended their volunteer efforts.

In the summer of 2020, CTN launched a commercial testing service, working with occupational health specialists and industry partners to create screening plans that would help keep employees safe as they returned to the workplace at a time when no government health screening was available.

Later in 2020 DHSC re-contracted CTN to provide supplementary capacity to the main “Pillar 2” testing programme at times of highest demand.

In January 2021 the government introduced mandatory PCR testing for international travel and asked the private sector to provide these tests. Quality and price in this brand new market were “variable”, and so CTN decided to create a price and quality comparison service to help consumers navigate this new and extremely fast changing market. At times, 1 in 5 people flying from the UK were using our price comparison service to find a good quality, affordable test.

In November 2022, with covid thankfully on the wane, we decided to close CTN. We are proud of the small part we played in mitigating the effects of the pandemic and we are grateful to all those who volunteered or worked for CTN and alongside us in the testing labs, technical development partners and elsewhere.


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