Covid-19 All Centre Update for w/c 4th May 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 4th May 2020:

UK NEQAS CentreUpdate for w/c 4th May 2020
Birmingham Quality (Clinical Chemistry)Awaiting centre update - email: birminghamquality@uhb.nhs.uk
Blood CoagulationAwaiting centre update - email: coag@ukneqas.org.uk
Blood Transfusion Laboratory PracticeAwaiting centre update - email: btlp@ukneqas.org.uk
Cardiac MarkersOperating as normal - email: cardiac@ukneqas.org.uk

Information can be found on the UK NEQAS Cardiac Markers website www.ukneqas-cm.org.uk.
Cellular Pathology TechniqueAs an organisation, CPT have decided that the May assessment session will be postponed. They will be reviewing their schedule again in the next few weeks and will follow Government guidance regarding social distance and travel regarding re-establishing the service. They will also be adjusting the scheduling of the remaining runs to ensure completion of all 6 assessment runs of the EQA year. In the interim, CPT continue to support laboratories in any way they can, and are continuing to further develop and expand the services they provide via other means including social media and webinars - email: cpt@ukneqas.org.uk
Edinburgh Peptide HormonesAwaiting centre update - email: ukneqas@ed.ac.uk
Genomics (GenQA)GenQA is currently reviewing the timetable for 2020-21 and modifying the format of certain EQAs in recognition of the current changes within genomic laboratories. Full details will be available over the next few weeks - email: info@genqa.org
Guildford Peptide HormonesSchemes are carrying on as per normal for the time being - email: insulin@ukneqas.org.uk
HaematologyUK NEQAS Haematology is open as usual but operating to a slightly amended schedule, as published on their website. 2002AH report will be issued by Wednesday 6th May 2020. The closing date for 2001DN has been extended by 2 weeks to May 18th 2020, and Haematology will keep in touch with participants if they have concerns about returning in that time. For the most recent updates, please see our website www.ukneqash.org.uk. 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 ghadmin@ukneqas.org.uk for admin queries or haem@ukneqas.org.uk for scientific queries, rather than phone, as the majority of the administration team are working from home.
Head and Neck PathologyAwaiting centre update - email: neckpath@ukneqas.org.uk
Histocompatibility & ImmunogeneticsParticipants are now invited to complete their annual re-registration on the H&I online Portal. Distributions for the 2020-21 year will commence on 2nd June - email: handi@ukneqas.org.uk
Immunocytochemistry & In-Situ HybridisationUK NEQAS ICC & ISH has now completed Assessment Run 129/58, and reports went out to participants at the scheduled date last week. They are continuing the preparatory work for dispatch of Run 130/59, which is expected to be sent out at the end of June. (Deadlines for laboratories will be re-aligned accordingly). ICC&ISH Staff members are working from home when possible, and only a few members of staff in work at one time for activities that cannot be carried out at home - email: info@ukneqasiccish.org
Immunology, Immunochemistry & AllergyAwaiting centre update - email: immunology@ukneqas.org.uk
Leucocyte ImmunophenotypingOperating as normal - email: lip@ukneqas.org.uk
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 - email: organiser@ukneqasmicro.org.uk
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 - email: parasite@ukneqas.org.uk
Reproductive ScienceReproductive Science is continuing as scheduled for now. Their next distribution is May and they intend extending the deadline from 4 weeks to 8 weeks. Result entry is now open for Andrology - Sperm Concentration & Morphology, Distribution 105. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Reproductive Science have extended the deadline for Distribution 105 by an extra four weeks to Monday 29th June, although participants are urged to complete the assessment as soon as they are able to do so - email: repscience@ukneqas.org.uk
Trace ElementsSchemes are carrying on as per normal for the time being - email: trace@ukneqas.org.uk
UK National BNS Neuropathology Interpretative EQA SchemeAwaiting centre update - email: neuropath@ukneqas.org.uk
Vitamin KRunning as normal. Will continue to monitor response rates to see if extensions are necessary - email: keqas@ukneqas.org.uk