Previous EQAS Participants' Meetings

The Meetings were initiated in the early 1980's by Dr Graham Groom, when working as Principal Biochemist and first Organiser of the UK NEQAS for Steroid Hormones at the Tenovus Instutute, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.

Graham wanted to bring all types of staff from laboratories participating in his EQA scheme, together with staff from the diagnostic industry, to discuss clinical and analytical issues. He began with quite small-scale single-analyte meetings, which quickly grew into larger affairs covering a wider range of laboratory tests. These meetings attracted a great deal of interest and were highly regarded nationally and internationally.

When Graham moved to industry in 1987, his post was taken over by Dr Jonathan Middle, who picked up the baton of the Meetings, beginning with the one in 1988. Jonathan subsequently built a team of colleagues at the other UK NEQAS Centres in endocrinology and immunoassay, notably Dr John Seth, Dr Mike Wheeler, Dr Geoff Holder and Mr Colin Selby, in addition to the Trustees listed on the Governance page. This group took the Meetings forward into the 1990's in a standard three-day format covering most of clinical endocrinology and immunoassay, with a full trade exhibition. These meetings attracted up to 400 delegates.

After EQAS'92 it was decided that the Meetings must be placed on a more formal and secure financial and legal basis. In order to reflect their primary educational role and not-for-profit stance, the organising association was therefore registered as a UK Charity.

Jonathan had a break in 1994, when EQAS'94 was held at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and was very ably organised by the Edinburgh team led at that time by Dr John Seth. EQAS'96 came back to Cardiff, after which Jonathan moved with his UK NEQAS service to join the main UK NEQAS centre for clinical chemistry at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. EQAS'98 was held in Edinburgh.

After 1998, the two-yearly cycle of meetings came to an end, and the Charity put its efforts into holding satellite meetings and organising parallel sessions within the Association for Clinical Biochemistry annual Focus Meetings. Individual UK NEQAS centres also held their own Roadshows and participants meetings.

When Jonathan retired in 2010, he decided to stand down as Chair of the Board of Trustees and Cathie Sturgeon was elected to replace him in the spring of 2011. At the same time, three new Trustees - Gwen Wark, Alan Reid and Les Perry - were appointed. The decision was then taken to re-activate the three-day meeting concept, and EQAS 2012 was born!

Jonathan Middle
February 2012