Covid-19 All Centre Update for w/c 27th April 2020

To help UK NEQAS participants in the current Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, we will be providing a weekly all-centre update. We will also provide an email address for each centre should anyone wish to make direct contact with their centre. Here’s the update for week commencing 27th April 2020:

UK NEQAS CentreUpdate for w/c 27th April 2020
Birmingham Quality (Clinical Chemistry)Birmingham Quality will be open as usual this week and the on-line Schedule remains valid.
Blood CoagulationExtending several deadlines for survey closing dates. No other changes at present.
Blood Transfusion Laboratory PracticeBTLP have had to defer the FMH exercise 2003F due to a lack of material available to prepare the samples.

They have also extended the closing date for PTT exercise 20E4 from 30 April 2020 to 4 May 2020.
Cardiac MarkersAwaiting centre update.

Information can be found on the UK NEQAS Cardiac Markers website
Cellular Pathology TechniqueAs you are aware, UK NEQAS CPT temporarily suspended EQA services result analysis and educational events, at the end of March to safeguard our core team and external experts; a decision which was not taken lightly. We will be reviewing our schedule again in the next few weeks and will follow Government guidance regarding re-establishing the service and amending our programme to ensure delivery. As soon as we can confirm our plans, I will contact you via email to let you know.

EQA remains an essential component in clinical laboratory testing and whilst workloads may fluctuate the continued use of Internal Quality Control (IQC) and EQA play a key role in patient diagnosis and monitoring, and thus ensuring patient safety is not compromised. It remains our committed aim to complete all 6 assessment runs of the forthcoming EQA year, and we will be adjusting the scheduling of the remaining runs to ensure this happens.
Edinburgh Peptide HormonesAwaiting centre update.
Genomics (GenQA)Awaiting centre update.
Guildford Peptide HormonesSchemes are carrying on as per normal for the time being.
HaematologyUK NEQAS Haematology is open as usual but operating to a slightly amended schedule, as published last week
2004FB report will be issued by Tues 28th.

For the most recent updates, please see our website

Our aim is to maintain services to support high throughput, automated testing and national screening programmes, in accordance with the advice on prioritisation of laboratory medicine testing during the Covid-19 pandemic from the UK professional bodies (RCPath, IBMS, ACB and NHS England).
Participants are asked to email for admin queries or for scientific queries, rather than phone, as the majority of the administration team are working from home.
Head and Neck PathologyAwaiting centre update.
Histocompatibility & ImmunogeneticsH&I plan to start distributions for the 2020-21 distribution year in June and will open annual registration at the beginning of May. The situation will be continually updated to ensure service provision.
Immunocytochemistry & In-Situ HybridisationCompleted Assessment Run 129/58, and reports will be going out to our participants this week.
We are starting the preparatory work for dispatch of Run 130/59.
Immunology, Immunochemistry & AllergyAwaiting centre update.
Leucocyte ImmunophenotypingOperating as normal regarding trial distribution but with staff working from home where possible, so asking participants to contact via email rather than telephone.
MicrobiologyMore than 50% of our staff are dealing with COVID 19 activities (testing, preparing lysis buffer, VTM, packing etc.) and the remaining staff are working from home. More and more staff are being drafted to help with the up-scaling of testing.
They are in the process of completing reports for the distributions that have closed and also dealing with customer queries on a daily basis. No EQAs are being despatched until further notice. This applies to the UK and worldwide.
ParasitologyIn line with other Schemes hosted by PHE, Parasitology are not despatching any EQA until further notice, neither to the UK nor worldwide.
Staff are assisting PHE in its COVID-19 response. Otherwise, where possible, our staff are working from home.
Reproductive ScienceReproductive Science is continuing as scheduled for now. The next distribution is May and they intend extending the deadline from 4 weeks to 8 weeks.
Trace ElementsSchemes are carrying on as per normal for the time being.
UK National BNS Neuropathology Interpretative EQA SchemeAwaiting centre update.
Vitamin KRunning as normal. Will continue to monitor response rates to see if extensions are necessary.