About Us

The UK NEQAS for Trace Elements and UK NEQAS Guildford Peptide Hormones are external quality assessment schemes that operate from Guildford, Surrey in the United Kingdom, from purpose built laboratories on the Surrey Research Park. These schemes are managed and administered by staff employed by Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust. The schemes are part of Berkshire and Surrey Pathology Services (BSPS), the overarching organisation that manages the various individual pathology departments that operate across the Foundation Trusts involved in the BSPS partnership: Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust, and Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. The legal entity for BSPS is Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust.

UK NEQAS for Trace Elements

UK NEQAS for Trace Elements is a UKAS accredited proficiency testing provider, No. 7496, offering programs in serum, whole blood and urine. Samples are spiked with various concentrations of trace elements covering clinically relevant ranges. The scheme analytes includes serum trace elements (aluminium, chromium, cobalt, copper, selenium, zinc), whole blood trace elements (arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, lead, magnesium, manganese, mercury, selenium, thallium, zinc) and urine trace elements (arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, selenium, thallium, zinc). Please note that blood zinc and blood magnesium are not included in our scope of accreditation.

We also operate two additional schemes which are for educational purposes only and are not accredited to ISO 17043; these are the Al in water and dialysis fluid scheme, and the Solid Matrix scheme. The latter of which is primarily to challenge measurements of Cu and Fe in liver biopsy specimens.

UK NEQAS for Trace Elements works in partnership with the Supra-Regional Assay Service Trace Element Laboratory. SAS Trace Elements specialises in the measurement and interpretation of trace elements in clinical samples from patients throughout the UK.  This includes but is not limited to the determination of copper, zinc and selenium for nutritional investigations; cobalt and chromium in patients with metal-on-metal hip replacements; lead, mercury, arsenic and other toxic elements in occupational and toxicological studies.  The laboratory has the facilities for the measurement of a wide range of other trace elements in blood, serum, urine, tissue biopsy, hair and nail samples using modern ICP-MS.

UK NEQAS Guildford Peptides Hormones

The UK NEQAS Guildford Peptide Hormones scheme is a UKAS accredited proficiency testing provider, No. 7496, and assists participants in monitoring the hormones regulating glucose metabolism, growth and gastric function. The scheme includes assays for insulin, C-peptide, gastrin, IGF-I and IGFBP-3 in serum. The UK NEQAS Guildford Peptide Hormones works in partnership with the Supra-Regional Assay Service Peptide Hormones Laboratory. SAS peptides laboratory specialise in the investigation of hypoglycaemia and growth disorders, and offers tests for the diagnosis of most endocrine and some metabolic causes of low blood glucose, including insulin, C-peptide, proinsulin, beta-hydroxybutyrate, oral hypoglycaemic agents, IGF-I, IGF-II, IGFBP-3 and IGFBP-2.