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We fully appreciate the current staffing difficulties within the laboratory and understand your decision to prioritise your workforce. However, we are concerned that with laboratories purchasing additional analysers and recruiting inexperienced staff, it is probably more important to continue to monitor the quality of testing during this busy period.
With this in mind, we have taken a pragmatic decision to reduce the frequency of some higher frequency EQA rounds to alleviate the testing burden for the laboratories whilst maintaining a minimum service to assure the quality of the results produced. We have already confirmed some programme cancellations during May. A new distribution list with amended distribution dates is available on our website.
The new programmes that were due to begin during April and May (POCT Urine ACR, Serum Indices and IGFBP-1) will be postponed until later in the year.
Overseas shipments have resumed as of 06.04.20.
We will also prioritise the dispatch of samples required for the verification of new analysers such as POCT blood gas analysers and new methods such as Procalcitonin. Please contact us if you need any of these samples. They will be provided free of charge.
For those laboratories that have undertaken a risk assessment and taken the decision not to analyse any EQA samples, the penalty for “no return” has been withdrawn.
We will continue to be in touch with information and updates.
Please let us know if there is anything we can do to assist you at this difficult time.