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We fully appreciate the current staffing difficulties within the laboratory and understand your decision to prioritise your workforce. However, some laboratories have requested that we maintain a service to assure the quality of testing during this busy period.
With this in mind, we have taken the decision today to reduce the frequency of 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 programme cancellations during April and May. A new distribution list with amended distribution dates will be made available on our website as soon as possible.
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 will be cancelled until further notice due to the logistical difficulties at this time. If you normally receive your samples in a batched shipment, we will endeavour to send these shipments as soon as possible. It may the case that we can send one off distributions over the next few months rather than full batches but we will, of course, keep you updated.
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a risk assessment and taken the decision not to analyse any EQA samples, the penalty for “no return” has been withdrawn.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.