14 October 2014 (Tuesday) - NEQAS Participants Meeting

Today togethr with two huundred and sixty others I was sent to the 17th annual participant's meeting of NEQAS for general haematology. A day of lectures.... would like to coment on the introduction but I couldn't hear a word. For the rest of the sessions:

PLENARY SESSION

Health Education

This was a very inteeresting session in which a speaker froom Health Education England speculated on the future of healthcare; predicting a major move into preventative medicine. I did like the fact that (like me) the chap felt that poor press coverage was not helping NHS recruitment. The chap touched on how difficult it is to plan years in advance, and had one or two ideas.
Incredibly thoght-provoking.... but not really relevent to me...

Pathology Quality Review

I thought that with the word "pathology" in the title this might be interesting. But a droning speaker who could only talk in meaningless acronyms sent me to sleep.
I am told I didn't snore.

EDUCATIONAL SESSION

Hb Measurement

An interesting insight into the variation of Hb levels between men and women in venous and capilary samples. Apparently it's not just huumans in which this difference happens. I learrned about the Fahreus effect (!)

Cell Counting in Fluids

There would seem to be new guidelines on the matter from the ICSH. The bottom line was that if anyone is going to do anything with an analyser that the manufacturer hasn't specifically built it to do, one has to have evidence to back up the validity of what one is doing.
Rather obvious really..... it was a shame that wwhat could have been useful sent me to sleep.

Red cell Membranopathies

The red cell cytoskeleton (and its malfunctions) ha always been an interest of mine. But devoting so much valuable time to an obscure condition such as hereditary stomatocytosis seemed rather an odd thing to do. I nodded off again.

AFTERNOON SESSION

Devices and Trend Analysis

The MHRA are bringing in software to analyse error reporting as the MHRA fervently hope that the amount of people squealing and tittle-tattling gooes through the roof. Perhaps I am being flippant; there *is* a place for error reporting. But it's getting out of hand.
Having said that, this was one of the day's better talks and I stayed awake.

Automated Counting Update

There would seem to be changes afoot; NEQAS schemes for NRBC and ESR. And "traffic lights" for poor performances.
The speaker then touched on EQA analysis in his home laboratory. Much like what I do aready myself, but with more peope in his team he could do far more.

Haemoglobinopathy Update

Oh dear. This could have been so good, but the focus was on DNA techniques which are used by only nine labs in the country.
More snoring from me...

Mophology Update

Fascinating. A serious consideration of how one error in identification can send one down entirrely the wrong track. I found this especially relevent to me for reasons that anyone wo knows me would sympathise with.

Overall the day was a mixed one. All sessions were interesting, but (in all honesty) few were really relevent to my day-to-day duties. For all that I did find many of the topics thought-provoking, had I known in advance that it was going to be "all talk" rather than "hands-on-useful" I'm not sure I would have gone.

I might suggest that
  • Future events not focus on laboratory techniques used only by a tiny minority,
  • Speakers be more concise and less soporific
  • Whan asking for questions, the staff identify those delegates who only want to hear the sound of their own voces and sto handing the microophone to them


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