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Electron Microscopy unit scores full marks in quality scheme

The Electron Microscopy (EM) unit at Central Manchester University Hospitals was one of only four worldwide to score full marks in a technical element of its quality scheme last year.

The EM unit scored 100% in the assessment of quality of tissue fixation, processing and staining, sectioning and digital image presentation in the 2015 cycle of the Electron Microscopy module of the Royal College of Pathologists Australasia Quality Assurance Program (RCPAQAP) for Anatomical Pathology.

The service also scored full marks in the diagnostic element and gained a commendably high score in the other technical element: artefact recognition and rectification.

The move towards the ISO 15189:2012 standard means the EM unit, which is part of the Cellular Pathology department, is required to enrol and participate in an External Quality Assessment (EQA) scheme.

Although UKNEQAS is currently developing a pilot EQA scheme for EM, there are very few organised schemes available in which to participate at present.

The department decided to enrol on the RCPAQAP scheme, which is well organised and has participants across the world, including a growing number from the UK due to the advent of ISO 15189 accreditation of pathology laboratories in this country.

A total of 26 EM units participated in last year's assessments.

The assessment comprises two comprehensive technical elements for Biomedical Scientists and a diagnostic element for Pathologists.