Quality Assurance and Accreditation

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For information on the Accreditation schedule, please follow the link at the bottom of the page. 

Quality Assurance

In order to ensure the quality of our service the department participates in a number of external quality assurance schemes (EQA) including:

United Kingdom National External Quality Assessment Scheme (UK NEQAS):

  • Full Blood Count
  • Automated Differential Leucocyte Count, including Nucleated Red Blood Cell Count
  • Reticulocyte Count
  • Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
  • Blood Films Morphology, Manual Differential and Parasites Identification
  • Rapid Diagnostic Test for Malaria
  • Infectious Mononucleosis
  • Red Cell G-6-PD (Screen only)
  • Abnormal Haemoglobins/HbA2/HbF/Hbs
  • Leukaemia Immunophenotyping & Diagnostic Interpretation (part 1 & 2)
  • Immune Monitoring
  • HLA-B27 (Flow cytometry only)
  • Cytochemistry (Haemosiderin)
  • Blood Coagulation Main Scheme; Level 1 & Level 2
  • Factor V Leiden / Molecular Genetics of Thrombophilia Testing
  • Direct Oral Anticoagulants (Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Edoxaban)
  • Lupus Anticoagulant
  • FXIIIag

PathQAS Coagulation Inter-Laboratory Quality Assurance Scheme:

  • Prothrombin Time, Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time, Clauss Fibrinogen Thrombin Time, D Dimer, Factor assays. 

Werfen Accutrak Coagulation Inter-Laboratory Quality Assurance Scheme: 

  • Prothrombin Time, Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time, Clauss Fibrinogen Thrombin Time and D Dimer.

Randox RIQAS:

  • Full Blood Count
  • Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate

 Uncertainty of measurement

Medical testing gives results that are subject to a degree of variability. This can be due to biological variation, analytical variation, or other factors such as poor specimen collection, delays in transport, clerical and reporting errors. It is important to identify and minimise these factors. Information regarding factors known to affect Haematology test performance can be found in the Sample Acceptance Criteria section.

Biological variation can be random in nature; can be cyclical over the period of a day, month or longer (e.g. Haemoglobin, Haematocrit and Red Blood Cell count fluctuations usually repeat on a regular diurnal basis, with the morning values typically being the highest. Mean White Blood Cell counts are usually highest in the afternoon)or can be due to differences in gender, age, or other discriminators. The latter can be accounted for by establishing different reference ranges where necessary across different demographic groups.

Analytical variation represents the degree to which a reported result may deviate from the true result. Small changes to variables such as temperature, volume and composition of reagent and sample aliquot, and electromagnetic interference can cause small variations in the detected value of assay results. The laboratory regularly assays internal quality control (IQC) materials in order to ensure the performance of our assays on a day-to-day basis.

If you would like more detailed information on our performance for a particular analyte, or for more information on Uncertainty of Measurement please contact the department on extension 8453.

For more information on Uncertainty of Measurement please contact either:
Consultant Haematologist – Dr S. Nagumantry (ext. 8427)
Haematology/Transfusion Manager and Blood Sciences Lead – Kerry Winham-Whyte (ext. 8441)