Pan-Disciplinary UK NEQAS Scientific Meeting

The NPEx team visited the Helix Centre in Dublin on 5th November to attend the Pan-Disciplinary UK NEQAS Scientific Meeting. The event marked UK NEQAS’ 50th year of delivering outstanding External Quality Assurance (EQA) to over 8,000 laboratories around the world. The event revolved around the theme of ‘The Patient Behind the Sample’ and focused on how patient care and safety requires high quality of testing at each stage of the process. UK NEQAS assist the maintenance of quality in laboratory settings by referring tests and collecting data from the results.

The NPEx team displayed a networking stand to showcase how we can aid UK NEQAS to facilitate the transfer of referrals and results for EQA testing quickly and accurately, while ensuring the reduction of pre- and post-analytical errors. NPEx enables users to perform checks on their testing with the assurance of it being free of transcription errors and ensuring high quality data transfer.

Another theme of the day was ‘Right First Time’. This looked at case studies and encouraged delegates to test their knowledge and compare it with others in order to highlight the importance of accuracy and efficiency in EQA. Likewise, NPEx holds a similar ethos through our partnership with NHS’ Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT), a national programme devised to further improve and develop patient care and increase efficiency. GIRFT aims to enhance the quality of care within the NHS by reducing unwarranted variations to improve care and patient outcomes. The partnership between NPEx and GIRFT is based on these shared values, making NPEx an enabler for these aims via EQA testing with UK NEQAS.

The NPEx team had the chance to talk to potential NPEx users as well as current users about our service and learn about how NPEx can support users for EQA testing. UK NEQAS and NPEx both place patient safety at the forefront of their work, which is why they aim to ensure EQA samples are treated the same as patient samples, this also makes for cleaner, more representative data.

Hayley Milsom, Account Manager at X-Lab, was among the NPEx team who attended the event. She reflected back on the day and said that ‘it was a fantastic opportunity to meet laboratories from across the UK and Ireland to discuss the NPEx service and how we can support EQA processes.’ She added that she learnt a lot about UK NEQAS including the history and the wide range of different types of EQA centres and schemes that are available to labs.

UK NEQAS Birmingham Quality are currently using NPEx to send tests for Clinical Chemistry, while UK NEQAS Immunology, Immunochemistry and Allergy (IIA) are currently in deployment for NPEx. If your lab would like to use NPEx for EQA testing, please email