August 2015

LGC acquires Thistle QA, expands clinical PT offering

LGC today announces that it has acquired Thistle QA, provider of a comprehensive range of over 35 proficiency testing (PT) schemes to over 6,000 participants, mainly in the clinical sector. PT is also known as EQA (external quality assessment).

Thistle’s schemes cover:
·        Clinical chemistry in blood, serum and urine for a range of important tests e.g. cardiac markers, serology, haematology
·        Therapeutic drugs monitoring (TDM)
·        Clinical microbiology
·        Food microbiology and forensic analysis.

Thistle will continue to operate from its offices in Johannesburg, South Africa under the Thistle QA brand.

Euan O’Sullivan, Managing Director, LGC, Standards Division, said: “We are delighted to be adding Thistle to our leading global PT operations. The combination of our existing expertise and Thistle’s experience will enable us to expand our offering in the clinical sector as well as to strengthen our presence in the African market.

LGC has over 30 years of experience in all aspects of the provision of PT services to laboratories undertaking chemical, clinical, microbiological and physical measurements, so Thistle’s capabilities and extensive portfolio of schemes are highly complementary to our existing offering.”

Jim McCulloch, Director of Thistle, said: “Thistle’s reputation in the African market is built on excellent customer service and fast reporting of results, and complements that of LGC’s well-regarded PT schemes. I look forward to using our combined capabilities to continuously improve the service that we are able to provide to both existing and new customers.”

In 2000, Thistle was the first PT provider to be accredited to ISO/IEC 17043 by the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS).

LGC currently provides 1,600 PT exercises per annum, distributed to more than 10,000 participating laboratories in over 150 countries worldwide. LGC’s reports are issued on average within 6 working days of the result submission deadline through its secure online reporting and trending software.

Proficiency testing is a key element in the laboratory accreditation process, alongside reference materials, enabling laboratories to monitor the quality of their analytical results as stipulated in ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO 15189.