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Sodexo supporting the Government's Covid-19 test centre response

Covid-19 testing services

Sodexo supporting the Government's Covid-19 test centre response

Sodexo manages over 150 Covid-19 test centres across the UK on behalf of the Department of Health and Social care. Our test centre workforce is equivalent to the size of four major police forces.

Our teams

Sodexo directly employs its 9,000+ strong test centre workforce rather than using agency staff. A dedicated seven-day-a-week recruitment centre has been set up to ensure that all our test centres are fully staffed at all times. Many of the test centre staff have been recruited from hard-hit sectors of the economy such as hospitality, supporting employment.

An innovative and flexible approach

In October 2020 the company was chosen by the Department of Health and Social Care to trial the game-changing 'lateral flow' tests, which can produce results within an hour, in ten different locations across England.

Stuart Winters, Sodexo CEO of Healthcare for UK & Ireland, said,

Sodexo's teams have moved quickly to support the industry-wide effort to help tackle the pandemic. I am proud that the government has entrusted Sodexo to trial an innovative new model for testing. 

The intense and fast-changing demands of the pandemic has required great flexibility from companies running test centres. Sodexo set up its first test centre in March 2020 within four days. We can now set up mobile test centres with less than a day’s notice. 

Supporting the fight against Covid-19 from the start

As one of the government’s strategic suppliers, Sodexo has been part of the industry-wide response and has been involved from the early stages of the outbreak, providing a range of services to help fight the virus. Our teams mobilised within 48 hours to provide catering and security services for the first British Coronavirus evacuees returning from China in January and February 2020. 

The firm has stepped in to provide test centres when other companies have not been able to do so, ensuring that tests have been available for local populations. In the early days of the programme, Sodexo worked with the Department of Health to design the operation of the centres and evaluated up to 20 different swab test methods. 

Promoting a health and safety culture

The safety of people visiting test centres is paramount. All staff receive online health and safety training before arriving on site. Once on site they receive core skills training and complete Sodexo’s Infection Control Passport. In the rare cases when test centre staff test positively for the virus, a deep clean of the whole centre is carried out to prevent any risk of infection.

Anthony Boyton, Sodexo account director and one of the operational leaders of the test centre programme, said:

It means everything that when the British public clapped for the NHS and key workers in the fight against Covid-19, they were clapping for my team and their thousands of colleagues.

Sodexo has extensive experience in the UK and overseas providing services for hospitals and other health facilities. As well as supporting major events including the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, and annual events such as Royal Ascot and the Chelsea Flower Show. This unique combination of experience has contributed to the reliability and safety of its test centre programme.

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