Sodexo has been chosen to operate another 121 fixed and mobile Covid-19 testing centres for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
The company said this makes it the largest UK provider. Sodexo already runs 202 fixed and mobile sites, and will now operate 30 per cent of all UK testing centres from next month. The value of the award could be up to £404 million, depending on the demand for testing over the coming months.
In total, Sodexo will operate 28 regional (drive-through) testing sites, 146 local (walk-in) testing sites and 149 mobile testing units, as well as the recruitment from 16 August of testers for 67 sites operated by other service providers.
The provider has been working with the department to support the test centre programme since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, mobilising and operating regional, local and mobile testing centres across the UK, as well as recruiting testers. This has helped the firm gain the experience and expertise needed to respond to fast-changing demands. At the start of the pandemic, Sodexo set up its first test centre within four days and can now set up mobile test centres with less than a day’s notice.
The new contract, which runs for 12 months with an option to extend a further six months, has been designed to incorporate this flexibility and includes the ability to bring about surge testing or even the demobilisation of sites if required.
Stuart Winters, CEO Healthcare of Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: “Our teams have moved quickly to set up Covid-19 testing centres as part of the industry-wide effort to tackle the pandemic. Our colleagues have gone above and beyond, working with pace and dedication to help keep people safe.”