Liverpool COVID testing firm to offer student bursaries

From its base in South Liverpool, DAM Health is expanding its COVID testing clinics worldwide and is teaming up with the University of Liverpool to keep talent in the city. Tony McDonough reports

Professor Frank Joseph
Professor Frank Joseph, founder of DAM Health in Liverpool

 

Fast-growing Liverpool COVID testing business, DAM Health, is partnering with the University of Liverpool to offer bursaries to students.

DAM has expanded rapidly to offer COVID testing both in the UK, in mainland Europe and as far afield as Mexico. Earlier this month the south Mossley Hill-based business teamed up with technology educators Credersi to open a virtual reality training laboratory.

Now it is setting up the bursary for students along with the University of Liverpool in order to “keep the most talented scientists of our future in the city”. DAM is also backing the new Pandemic Institute which was opened in Liverpool a few days ago.

Headed by Professor Frank Joseph, a diabetes specialist who still works in general practice three days a week, DAM says the institute will look at the area of newer coronavirus variants while working on vaccine developments.

He said: “We have set up a bursary for students, because we want to keep the most talented scientists of our future in Liverpool. And this could be the first pandemic of many to come – you have to do the science.”

Last month, the firm embarked on an expansion drive in Mexico, where it now operates 16 testing clinics, along with 26 clinics in Spain. In the UK, the firm operates 45 clinics and four laboratories.

However, in a company presentation by Prof Joseph in the Royal Liver Building, he outlined ambitious plans for growth, including further expansion across the globe, in particular in Bulgaria, Kenya, Malta, France, Portugal, Columbia, Pakistan and India.

He is originally from Kerala in southern India and the company has donated PPE (personal protective equipment) and COVID-19 testing kits to children and adults there following the summer surge across the country.

Prof Joseph is also setting out strategies beyond COVID-19, with plans to provide testing for a range of conditions to identify problems early, such as cancer.

He added: “COVID will be here for a while. But with the infrastructure we have built, we don’t want it just to be about COVID. We also have an interest in general health and wellbeing, including cancer screening. We want to catch cancers early.”

DAM only provides in-person tests at its clinics, rather than a postal service. So far, the company has provided tests for more than 250,000 people. Results are usually sent out within three hours and always inside six.

But Prof Joseph also emphasised that, while the majority of testing will be for the purposes of travel, business or personal reasons, the company is also aware that clients also need tests to prove their health status for many other purposes.

He added: “There are millions of people who are well, and want to carry on with life and you have to get the balance right.”

The company has forged a range of partnerships with many companies and employers, including Scottish Rugby, Glasgow Rangers FC and Crystal Palace FC. It employs more than 250 staff in the North West and more than 600 worldwide.

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