NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, operating UK NEQAS Cardiac Markers, is a UKAS accredited proficiency testing provider (No:8560)(BS EN ISO/IEC 17043:2010)
We are a non-profit centre working within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to improve cardiac biomarker investigations in the clinical laboratory sector for the benefit of patients.
UK NEQAS Cardiac Markers is organised to provide a UK National External Quality Assessment Scheme for the assay of cardiac Troponin I and Troponin T (including high sensitivity methods), Creatine Kinase (MB), Myoglobin, B-type Naturetic Peptide and N-Terminal -ProB-type Naturetic Peptide and will develop appropriate EQA schemes for new cardiac biomarkers. Schemes are available for both laboratory systems and for point of care systems.
Our schemes are open to all clinical/research laboratories in the UK and overseas. It is anticipated that the majority of participants will be UK NHS laboratories. The Scheme will accept participants from the private sector and from the diagnostics industry, within or out with the UK on the same basis (with fee adjustment) as UK laboratory participants.
We see it as part of the duty of an EQA scheme to give advice to participating laboratories about assay problems related to the EQA when this is asked for. The EQA response to poor laboratory performance is separately described. We have contacts with developing cardiac Troponin EQA schemes in EU countries and elsewhere. We think it important to foster and contribute to these information links as there are substantial inter-assay calibration problems which still remain to be solved.
Participation is open to all clinical/research laboratories and point of care providers in the UK and overseas.
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Laboratory Based Schemes
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Point of Care Based Schemes
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BNP: ng/L (pmol/L is discouraged due to assay cross-reactivity with pro-BNP).
CKMB (Mass): µg/L
CKMB (Activity): IU/L
NT-proBNP: ng/L (pmol/L is discouraged due to assay cross-reactivity with pro-BNP).
Troponin I & T: ng/L although µg/L is still accepted.
Reissue of EQA Batches as Part of a distribution
At least one sample is reissued from a previous distribution so that consistency of bias can be calculated.
Participants will be blinded to reissued EQA batches as samples are issued with a sample number only and no
reference to EQA pool ID.
Sample Distribution and Returning of Results
Samples are dispatched to participants in accordance with the Distribution Schedule (available on the Members Area of the
UKNEQAS Cardiac Markers website). Some samples are sent to participants overseas prior to the distribution date to allow time
for shipping. Result entry,via the WES result entry/ reporting portal (https://results.ukneqas.org.uk/), opens on the distribution
date and the result sheet issued with the samples details this. Participants are notified by e-mail when the distribution opens and
a reminder is also sent imtimating closing date. Each UK NEQAS number is assigned a unique password to access the WES system,
which is provided upon commencement of participation along with a username and password for the UK NEQAS Cardiac Markers
Issue of Reports
Reports are issued to participants in accordance with the Distribution Schedule (available on the Members Area of the UK NEQAS
Cardiac Markers website). Reports can be accessed by participants by logging in to the WES result entry/ reporting portal
(https://results.ukneqas.org.uk/). Participants will be notified by e-mail when reports are available. Each UK NEQAS number
is assigned a unique password to access the WES system, which is provided upon commencement of participation along with a
username and password for the UK NEQAS Cardiac Markers website. In the unlikely event that reports are not issued in
accordance with the Distribution Schedule, participants will be notified.
The current definitive report is that on the secure Results and Reports website. When reports for a scheme distribution are
published the name and date of authorisation are stated and, and the time and date of publication are printed on each page.
Unless specified in the report (eg an initial report awaiting republishing with a commentary) this may be considered as a ‘final’
report. Revised reports including a participant’s late or amended results are identified by the words “LATE Results” or
“AMENDED” below the laboratory code. Participants will always be informed if they are issued with an amended report.
Changes in target values resulting from inclusion of late or amended results are normally trivial (and will always improve
target validity),and will be reflected in reports for subsequent distributions. On the rare occasions when revised reports
are published for a distribution, the revised report is clearly identified as such, with reference to the date when the report
which it replaced was published.If additional data is received and flagged as a late return:
· If the method group has less than 10 participants an amended report will be issued to all participants using this method with a comment as to why
they have received this report and indicating that this supersedes the previous report. Date of previous report will be given.
· If the method group has greater than 10 participants the Scheme Organiser or Deputy will assess whether there has been a significant change in
method target which will affect resultant statistics. If so then amended reports will be issued, as described above, to all participants using the
affected method. If not, an amended report will be issued to the late returning laboratory.
The scheme organise educational and participant meetings as well as annual questionnaires to allow participant appraisal of the
Confidentiality is strictly maintained, with each laboratory identified by a unique code known only to the scheme organiser and the participant. The only circumstances under which participation and/or performance records in the scheme might be divulged are where a participant shows consistently poor performance or when requested by any other regulatory authority. In the UK consistent poor performance may require the scheme organiser to divulge performance information to the National Quality Assurance Advisory Panel.
Should a participant have a complaint regarding any aspect of the scheme, they should notify the Scheme Organiser or Administrator.
All complains are logged and will be formally responded to within 14 days. Should the matter remain unresolved the participant my refer the complaint to the appropriate UKNEQAS Steerinmg Committee/Specialist Advisory Group or the NQA Panel. The steering Committee will also monitor and review all complaints.
An appeal may be raised if participants are unhappy with their performance. Participants can appeal by contacting the Scheme Organiser. It is
hoped that resolution will occur at this stage however, if participants wish to escalate the appeal, they are referred to the Chairperson of the
Specialist Advisory Group (SAG) of UK NEQAS. Appeals are dealt with is the same manner and timescales as complaints (see above). Appeals
are logged in accordance with the Communication Process.
The scheme is organised with a formal Steering Committee ( UK NEQAS (Clinical Chemistry)) and membership of the UK NEQAS Specialist Advisory Group for Immunoassay. A member of the appropriate National Quality Assurance (NQA) Advisory Panel sits on the Steering Committee and the Specialist Advisory Group.
NQAAP and Joint Working Group
The National Quality Assurance Advisory Panels (NQAAP) are professional groups which have executive responsibility for maintaining satisfactory standards of analytical and interpretative work in laboratories in the UK, whether in the private or in the public sector, in which investigations are performed for the detection, diagnosis or management of disease in humans. The Chairperson of each of the Panels reports to the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Quality Assurance. Details of JWG conditions of EQA participation have been reproduced in the scheme manual and are available on the RCPath website.
If you wish to participate in any of the EQA schemes run by UK NEQAS Cardiac Markers please go to the Register to Participate on the menu bar or press here.
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United Kingdom National External Quality Assessment Service (UK NEQAS) is a Company Limited by Guarantee (No. 3012351) and a Registered UK Charity (No. 1044013)