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DAM Health review: Private COVID testing for travel
DAM Health has a network of over 40 clinics around the UK, offering free child "fit to fly" testing, same-day appointments and same-day results. So how does it compare against other test providers?
If you’re traveling abroad, the new rules for COVID testing are essential reading. While it can seem a headache at first, once you find a service that ticks all the relevant boxes at a price that won’t scupper your holiday budget, you can breathe a deep sigh of relief.DAM Health is a testing service that’s currently on the government’s provider list. It offers in-clinic or at-home COVID tests at competitive prices. We delved into its range of options to see how it shapes up.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
What is DAM Health?
Its name may suggest that it’s a service to protect the welfare of beaver homes, but DAM Health is actually self-proclaimed as “one of the leading providers of coronavirus testing worldwide”. Its lab is said to have processed over 300,000 tests and undertaken 1,500 tests a day to help protect public health. It’s also created the world’s first virtual reality COVID-19 training laboratory to increase the number of technicians so the cost of testing can be reduced in due course.
DAM Health is currently listed under the government’s private providers of coronavirus testing, meaning it meets the minimum requirements to be included.
What types of COVID tests can I get from DAM Health?
In its clinics, DAM Health is offering PCR or lateral flow (check what your destination requires) “fit to fly” testing, plus day 5 “Test to Release” tests.
It also has emergency same-day appointment testing, which returns the results by midnight. However, booking an appointment for the same day costs significantly more.
Day 2 and/or 8 tests can be ordered online and self-administered at home before being sent off to a lab for analysis.
What is DAM Health’s refund policy?
Appointment cancellations made 48 hours in advance will get a full refund minus a £20 admin fee. Cancellations 24 hours in advance get a 50% refund minus a £20 admin fee. Cancellations made within 24 hours will not receive a refund.
DAM Health customer reviews
Looking at DAM Health’s Trustpilot page, it has a 3.8 score overall (last updated: October 2021), with over 2,700 customer reviews. Reviews praised the staff at the clinic, and their helpfulness and efficiency.
There are some negative reviews, too. Customers were unhappy with the opening hours (one citing a closure between noon and 1pm), and some mentioned trouble with getting refunds for cancelled tests. We noticed that DAM Health is active on Trustpilot, addressing complaints and clarifying its processes for customers.
Are DAM Health tests accurate?
DAM Health is on the government’s list of COVID test providers, which means its tests meet minimum safety requirements and you can be confident that they’re pretty accurate. But with that in mind, it’s important to remember that no COVID test is 100% reliable.
How long does it take to get results from DAM Health?
The emergency same-day appointment PCR and antigen tests will return the results to you by midnight – impressive stuff. This service costs significantly more and you may not be able to take advantage of the “1 free child test per adult” offer, though.
Their party line is that your results and certificate will be emailed to you within 24 hours from the time of your appointment. The pre-scheduled PCR test will return to you by midnight, as will the Day 5 Test to Release.
Antigen tests are returned within 2 hours, and Day 2 and Day 8 test results should be returned between 12-48 hours of arriving at the lab.
How much do DAM Health COVID-19 tests cost?
A pre-booked fit to fly PCR test at a regional clinic costs from £69, while the antigen (lateral flow) equivalent is £29.
Booking an “Emergency” same-day appointment promising results by midnight can cost £100 extra.
DIY home PCR kits for Day 2 or 8 testing start from £69.
Pros and cons of DAM Health testing
- Government-listed COVID test provider with 40+ clinics around the country.
- If you’re in a rush, DAM Health guarantees one of the fastest turnarounds going (for a price).
- For each adult booking a “fit to fly” PCR test, 1 free child test is available.
- When Finder ran “Can you speak to a human at this company over the phone?” checks, DAM Health passed with flying colours.
- Same day appointments cost as much as £100 extra.
- The cancellation policy charges an admin fee of £20.
- Some customers have had trouble getting refunds.
Our verdict: Is DAM Health any good?
We spoke to DAM Health to clarify some things about the tests and were very pleased to get to speak to an actual human on the line who was very helpful. Largely, the customer reviews were quite positive aside from some refunds disputes.
Particularly if you’re getting day 2 and day 8 tests, it offers a reduced rate compared to some other providers which simply double the price of a day 2 test. It can also offer an impressively fast turnaround on pre-departure “fit to fly” testing, albeit with a painful markup.
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