Scheme Information Sheets

Birmingham Quality Point of Care Suite

Scheme Particulars Indicative Details
Accreditation body UKAS
ISO/IEC Accreditation status ISO/IEC 17043:2010
UKAS Accredited Proficiency Testing Provider No 7860
Objective of Scheme This suite allows a range of analytes and a range of frequency options tailored to your specific needs. Operating as a Hub-and-Spoke, not only do individual end users receive an easy to understand report, but the Hub coordinator receives a range of reports and spreadsheets for them to efficiently run their own service in the way they want.

Provides EQA coverage for a range of analytes for which Point of Care Testing is commonly performed in a variety of settings, including hospital settings and community settings such as GP surgeries, pharmacies and gyms. Analytes include HbA1c and Lipids which are part of the NHS Health Checks programme for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Risk assessment, and Creatinine.

HbA1c is also often performed as POC test in Diabetes clinics and by Diabetic home care teams. Creatinine is often analysed by POC devices to assess renal function in the clinic setting, especially in radiology (before contrast administration), and oncology (before chemotherapy treatment). Material is Whole Blood for all schemes, as patient testing is often performed on finger prick capillary samples. The scheme also allows hub coordinators to monitor performance of devices across all locations
Pre-, Analytical, Post- status Analytical
Number of distributions per year (nominal) Various [as per customer demand within the quoted parameters]
Specimens per distribution Various [as per customer demand within the quoted parameters]
Number of Specimens per annum Various [as per customer demand within the quoted parameters]
Frequency of distribution Various [as per customer demand within the quoted parameters]
Scoring system POCT ABC
Material distributed Whole Blood, Serum, Urine [as per instrument requirements]
Programme Director(s) / Organiser(s) Finlay MacKenzie
Criteria for participation None
Nominal sample volume (mL) Various [as per customer demand within the quoted parameters]
Sample presentation TACs Various [as per customer demand within the quoted parameters]
Data in Chemistry on-line Dashboard Various [as per customer demand within the quoted parameters]

We use whole blood for our POCT specimens and by its very nature whole blood is not stable, therefore depending on the time that a repeat request is made it may not be possible to have repeat specimens. Also, we are unable to provide material for verification unless it is part of a live distribution.

Analyte Approx Range Default Units Target Value B Score Limit (%) C Score Limit (%)
Creatinine 20 – 250 µmol/L ALTM ~ ~
HbA1c [IFCC] 20 – 120 mmol/mol ALTM ~ ~
HDL cholesterol 0 – 3 mmol/L MLTM ~ ~
LDL cholesterol 0 – 5 mmol/L MLTM ~ ~
Non-HDL cholesterol 0 – 10 mmol/L MLTM ~ ~
TC/HDL ratio 1 – 5 ~ ~ ~ ~
Total cholesterol 2 – 10 mmol/L MLTM ~ ~
Triglyceride 0.5 – 10 mmol/L MLTM ~ ~

Please use the sign up form to register your interest in this scheme (quoting your UK NEQAS Laboratory ID where available).

To service your POCT EQA needs, we offer a range of POCT ‘bundles’ into which we can enrol you.

BQ has pioneered a POCT Suite approach. The key feature is that whatever approach is offered, it will be of the Hub-and-Spoke model. The ‘Spoke’ is the person/device doing the testing; the ‘Hub’ is the POCT Coordinator who is responsible for the service.

Essentially, we need to know your 5 fundamental requirements and then we will allocate you to the most appropriate and cost effective solution for you. We can then give you a detailed price.

diagram displaying hub and spoke model - 6 small circles surrounding a larger circle with connecting lines

We have experience of dealing with three or four participant Spokes in a Hub up to over 500 Spokes in a Hub.

Some devices can work on a variety of materials eg. Blood or Serum, but some are specific in their requirements. Even if we don’t yet have any users for your device, we can find a material that will work for you.

Our repertoire is continually expanding

  • We have a whole blood-based material for Glucose, Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HDL Cholesterol, ratios, etc.
  • We have a dedicated whole blood-based HbA1c material
  • We have a range of human serum-based materials

We recommend monthly, 2 specimens per analyte but can offer monthly (1 or 2 specimens per analyte), bi-monthly (2 or 3 specimens per analyte) or quarterly (2 or 3 specimens per analyte). A 100% return rate is required to ensure you have maximum confidence in the data reported back to you. Fewer data points does make it difficult for you to assess overall performance as there is a larger uncertainty of overall Quality from an External Quality Assessment perspective.

We do not have a totally bespoke service for small numbers of Spokes, but if you have a particular atypical need and have a substantial database we may be able to extend our range of bundles.

Would you prefer envelopes packed in bulk for the Hub or a box of tubes and piles of paperwork that you yourself can assemble into packs for your spokes?

We would recommend a separate envelope posted out to each of your Participant Spokes.

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