For BTLP's latest update, please click here
For Haematology's latest update, please click here
For the latest update from the UK NEQAS Board of Trustees, please see here
If you need to contact us, please email us
Please only contact us by phone for urgent queries.
UK NEQAS Haematology has extended the closing dates for the programmes in distribution 21A (January 2021) to Friday January 22nd 2021. This is because of delays to delivery experienced by some participants. If you have any queries, please contact the Scheme ([email protected]).
Due to an unforeseen material processing issue, 2101F has been delayed for 1 day. This affects the dispatch, closing and reporting of the exercise. We have every confidence that the material used will (on this occasion) be valid for an extra day, but we will be performing additional in house testing to ascertain whether this is the case. Please accept our sincere apologies for this delay.
|Stage||Original date||New date|
UK NEQAS Haematology and Transfusion would like to assure all of our participants that, as the end of the Brexit transition period approaches, we have plans and systems in place to ensure the continuity of the services we provide.
We have been working with all our EU participants and distributors to ensure that we have all relevant documentation and information to ensure a seamless transition. In preparation for the end of the transition period we have asked all our participants in the EU provide us with their Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) Number. Provision of an EORI number should ensure the rapid clearance of EQA service materials through EU customs.
For our participants in Northern Ireland we will be providing delivery of the service through DHL rather than Royal Mail in order to ensure that we meet the paperwork requirements of the withdrawal agreement.
It is not possible to test the systems we have in place until after 1st January 2021, but we have made arrangements to do this in the first week of 2021.
See also previous Brexit update from UK NEQAS Haematology and Transfusion.
See also Brexit update from UK NEQAS Central Office.
UK NEQAS Haematology
Re-registration will open mid-February 2021. You will receive an email once the re-registration process opens with instructions on what you need to do to renew your membership for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022. Online re-registration is not required if you are a participant registering via an agent.
2021/22 PDF copies of exercise schedules have been uploaded and can be accessed in our documents section. You can also use our online schedules list by clicking here online schedules.
UK NEQAS Blood Transfusion Laboratory Practice BTLP
Re-registration for all BTLP schemes including Pre-Transfusion Testing (PTT), FMH, ABO Titration, DAT, Extended Red Cell Phenotyping (ERP), Red Cell Genotyping (RCG) and Antenatal Titration (ANT) schemes will open towards the beginning of March 2021. You will receive an email once the re-registration process opens with instructions on what you need to do to renew membership for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022. Online re-registration is not required if you are a participant registering via an agent.
2021/22 PDF copies of exercise schedules have been uploaded and can be accessed in our documents section. You can also use our new online schedules list by clicking here online schedules.
For UK Neqas Brexit Update, please click here.
The UK NEQAS President has issued an updated communication from the UK NEQAS Charity Central Office to all UK NEQAS participants. The letter is available here or from the Covid-19 response banner above. If you have any queries or concerns about UK NEQAS Haematology and Transfusion services during the pandemic, please contact us directly ( [email protected] or [email protected]).
We were unfortunately unable this year to deliver our planned Annual Scientific Meeting, but instead,
we’ll be delivering a one hour webinar on 24/11/2020. You can find details and how to register at this link below.
There is new supplementary information for report 2005BF1 describing the platelet clumping noted by some participants. The 2002PA1 report has been amended to include further information about the withdrawal of scoring for the parasite identification for this survey.
UK NEQAS has been delighted by the interest in the current webinar series on Reducing Pre-analytical Errors in Laboratory Medicine. The first two weeks have seen over 250 attendees join each of the sessions, which are free of charge, and the feedback from attendees has been excellent. This week’s webinar is on Sample Stability and will be delivered by Sophie Hepburn. The full programme is available and further information can found on the UK NEQAS Central Office website here.
We are pleased to announce that we have been able to obtain sufficient material to run the 2005F (dispatched 15/09/20), and we have been able to fulfil our plan to send three samples on this occasion. You should be able to submit all results via our normal website, please let us know if you have any issues by contacting us by email [email protected].
We hope to repeat this with the next few exercises to catch up with the missed exercises in May and July. We hope to have the report out in the usual timescale but due to the additional data to process and the need for additional validation, we may be slightly late releasing the report. Please bear with us if this is the case, we want to make sure that reports we send are correct.
An updated communication has been added under the UK NEQAS Haematology Covid-19 response banner with details of the distribution schedules for July – September 2020. The extension to closing dates implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic have been discontinued from August; however, if participants continue to experience delays to testing, please let us know. We do not wish to penalise any participants for circumstances beyond their control.
The ISBT Summer Highlights programme includes presentations from ISBT 2019 meetings and an update on COVID-19 immunology, all presented live on-line.
This 3-days online programme is free for ISBT members, if you are not a member yet you can attend the sessions, the registration fee for non-members is €100 for the 3 days.
You can become an ISBT Member today and attend the programme for free.
For more information, visit the website here.
Applications are invited for the Carol Briggs-Smalley Scholarship 2020. Further information is available here.
Applications close on 31 July 2020.
As a result of the on-going Covid-19 pandemic, we regret that the UK NEQAS Haematology 23rd Annual Participants’ meeting scheduled for 6 October 2020 has been postponed for one year.
Pre-paid places will automatically be transferred to the October 2021 meeting.
We are working on the feasibility of providing an alternative programme of free educational webinar sessions during the winter, available as a benefit of membership to all participants.
We look forward to welcoming you to Liverpool in October 2021.
As a result of the on-going Covid-19 pandemic we have made the decision to postpone this year’s Joint UK NEQAS BTLP/ BBTS Blood Bank Technology SIG Annual meeting, which was due to be held in November 2020 at the NEC Birmingham.
The new date for the meeting is November 23rd 2021 at the Gallery Suite, NEC Birmingham.
Pre-paid places for the 2020 event will automatically be transferred to the 2021 event.
The International Society for Laboratory Haematology 2020 meeting has gone virtual. Registration is FREE and the meeting will run online and on demand from June 22 until September 25 2020. You can access the full announcement here to take advantage of this amazing opportunity or go to the ISLH website.
As a result of the current and ongoing COVID-19 situation, we will be extending the closing date for 20E7 and 20ANT3 to Monday 3rd August. This means that you will be able to continue testing and submitting results until the end of that day. We have altered our in-house testing to ensure that the material is checked for stability up until this new closing date.
As a result of the current and ongoing COVID-19 situation, we will be extending the closing date for 20E6 to Monday 29th June. This means that you will be able to continue testing and submitting results until the end of that day. We have altered our in-house testing to ensure that the material is checked for stability up until this new closing date.
As a direct result of the current COVID-19 situation we have taken the decision not to send the next FMH exercise 2004F. We have had to take this decision as we are unable to obtain any suitable raw material for the preparation of FMH samples.
When things return to a state of normality, we hope to be able to provide additional samples in the future exercises so that we can continue to provide you with the appropriate level of performance monitoring over the course of the year.
UK NEQAS is unable to supply LN specimens as part of the June Abnormal Haemoglobins distribution 2003AH, due to the temporary closure of the NHS Cord Bank during the Covid-19 pandemic. These specimens are supplied for participants undertaking the screening of newborn infants for significant haemoglobinopathies using liquid capillary blood samples. Participants will not be penalised for non-return of results for these specimens. If you have any queries, please contact us here.
UK NEQAS offers a range of EQA to support Covid-19 diagnostic and monitoring testing. Click here for more information.
Changes to the delivery of the Parasitology Teaching Program as a result of COVID-19 have been agreed and details can be found here. For access to UK NEQAS Parasitology website please click here. If you have any questions, please email us here.
As a result of the current and ongoing COVID-19 situation, we will be extending the closing date for 20E4 to Monday 4th May. This means that you will be able to continue testing and submitting results until the end of that day. We have altered our in-house testing to ensure that the material is checked for stability up until this new closing date.
As a direct result of the current COVID-19 situation we have taken the decision not to send the next FMH exercise 2003F. We have had to take this decision as we are unable to obtain any suitable raw material for the preparation of FMH samples. When things return to a state of normality, we hope to be able to provide additional samples in the future exercises so that we can continue to provide you with the appropriate level of performance monitoring over the course of the year.
UK NEQAS Haematology and Transfusion specimens are a low risk for Covid-19 infection, compared to clinical samples. We have undertaken a risk assessment and advice on handling our specimens and packages during the pandemic can be found here.
As a result of the Covid-19 emergency and public holidays in the UK, we have extended the closing date for 2002AH to 5 pm on Monday 20th April. In-house testing witll be extended to the same dates to validate sample quality and stability.
As a result of the Covid-19 emergency and public holidays in the UK, we have extended the closing dates for 2004FB and 2002DL to 5 pm on Thursday 16th April. In-house testing witll be extended to the same dates to validate sample quality and stability.
We are aware that the postal deliveries may be delayed due to the current Covid-19 emergency. Participants are asked to check the update letter on amendments to our services, which includes guidance on submitting results late or what to do if you are unable to make a return. We realise the challenges faced by all our healthcare colleagues at the moment and intend that no participant is penalised for circumstances beyond their control.
We have reviewed our planned services with our advisors and agreed to focus on the high throughput, automated tests and those tests that support the UK national screening programmes during the Covid-19 emergency. Other services have been compressed or deferred to later in the year, with a small number of cancellations in April and May.
Unfortunately, as a result of a supply issue at the last minute, we have been unable to source sufficient material to provide two samples for exercise 2002F. We will be providing only one sample of material for this exercise, contradicting the exercise instructions which were prepared ahead of time. This sample is labelled Patient 1.
We gave consideration to cancelling and moving the exercise to a different date, however with the rapidly changing situation around COVID-19, it seemed very unlikely that there would be any short-term improvement in access to material.
The data entry pages for the exercise will still have details for both Patients 1 and 2. We have marked all Patient 2 samples as “Unsatisfactory sample quality – Sample not received” so that you can submit results without entering data for Patient 2.
Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused by this change.
The Royal College of Pathologist has set up a new pathology wide External Quality Assurance (EQA) review programme to improve the governance and culture of pathology Quality Assurance (QA). This is an opportunity for experienced laboratory medicine professionals to contribute their expertise to the four workstreams that have been established. If you are interested, please click here for more information or email [email protected]
We were delighted by the news that Professor Keith Hyde, former UK NEQAS Haematology Director, has been elected to the IBMS Council. Follow him on Twitter @kh2409.
The proposed change to the format of the routine Pre-Transfusion Testing (PTT) R exercises regarding phenotyping has been implemented with exercise 19R10. This is to replace phenotyping of donor samples for a nominated single blood group system with Rh and K typing of the patient whole blood samples.
The change has been made to reflect the work flow seen commonly in UK laboratories and to improve assessment for phenotyping. Where previously, each blood group system was assessed less than once a year, there will now be regular assessment of the phenotypes most commonly performed in routine pre-transfusion testing (Rh and K). Use of the whole blood samples allows automated testing in line with practice in many laboratories.
Phenotyping for a wider range of common red cell phenotypes on red cell samples suspended in Alsever’s solution is now available in the Extended Red Cell Phenotyping Pilot Scheme (ERP). ERP is distributed four times per year and participants need only return results for only those antigens tested for in clinical practice. Further information on ERP can be found on our website here.
If, based on this change, you would like to amend your registration for the PTT or ERP schemes you will have the opportunity to do so during annual re-registration in February 2020.
Please let us know at [email protected] if you have any comments or suggestions related to this change or any other aspect of the PTT exercises.
There is a new supplementary report to the 1903BF report originally posted on the 4th June, describing an interesting morphological feature noted in the 1903BF2 film.
UK NEQAS Haematology is looking to recruit an experienced Beckman Coulter instrument user to the Automated Counting Scientific Advisory Group. If you are interested or would like to know more, please email the Scheme Director ([email protected]).
The new version of the Haematology Participants’ Manual can be downloaded by clicking here.
The new version of the BTLP Participants’ Manual can be downloaded by clicking here.
PDF copies of exercise schedules have been uploaded and can be accessed in our documents section. You can also use our new online schedules list by clicking here Online schedules.
The online schedules page allows you to view all the exercises along with the opening, closing and reporting dates. You will also be able to filter down and view schedules for individual shcemes. Further to this you can view an individualised schedule for your own PRN from that same page as long as you are logged in. To do this click the Login button, login with your PRN,Identity and Password and click the Distribution schedules option from the drop down menu with your initials.
All schedules allow you to export them as PDFs or Excel sheets so you can download and / or print them.