AWARE NI is the depression charity for Northern Ireland with an established network of 24 support groups in rural and urban areas across the country. They also deliver mental health and wellbeing programmes into communities, schools, colleges, universities and workplaces. Mind Your Mood is an initiative designed and managed by students at Ulster University to help break down the stigma of mental health and encourage students to access support.
Dr. Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director and Founder of Randox Laboratories, commented:
“There is no doubt that mental health issues are a major concern within our society and the vigour with which staff at Randox have fundraised for AWARE NI and Mind Your Mood, two causes close to everybody’s hearts, is to be commended.
“Randox staff across all areas – from Science to Engineering and Business to Manufacturing – have raised a substantial sum for our two charity partners and we hope that this figure will aid awareness of mental health and contribute to the help given to those suffering in Northern Ireland.”
The partnership, which was announced in July 2018, kicked off with the annual Randox Fest staff BBQ in August where 400 staff members had the opportunity to participate in a football tournament, tug-of-war and rounders. Talented musicians amongst Team Randox even took to the stage to bring live music to the festivities.
Throughout the year, Randox staff continued to enthusiastically support AWARE and Mind Your Mood. In October 2018, Randox hosted a company-wide Mental Health Month which saw various divisions take part in a fundraising coffee morning in Randox Health’s clinic in Holywood, a Wear Yellow Day across all of Randox’s NI sites, a daring abseil from the dome of Victoria Square Belfast and a fundraising bake sale for staff members.
The Randox Gaelic Football team also fundraised for the charities with their participation in an Interfirm Tournament in November 2018, while the annual Randox Christmas Raffle in December 2018 was once again popular as staff members vied for top prizes of a 55” Sony smart TV, an extra day of annual leave and tickets to the world-renowned Randox Health Grand National. Children of Randox staff also enjoyed a visit from another famous and festive figure in a red suit at this yearly family event in the staff calendar.
Clare Galbraith, Corporate Fundraising Officer for AWARE, commented:
“We have thoroughly enjoying working with Randox over the past year and are incredibly grateful to Randox staff for their hard work and perseverance in achieving this tremendous amount of fundraising.
“The vital work of AWARE is funded primarily by donations and without the generosity of people like those at Randox, we would not be able to provide the services we do to those living with depression and bipolar disorder in Northern Ireland.”
The new year in 2019 saw Randox staff taking part in a charity golf day at Galgorm Castle Golf Club, Belfast City Marathon and another abseil, this time from the top of Cave Hill’s most iconic landmark, Belfast Castle. Two brave staff members have also volunteered to scale the heights in a 10,000ft skydive in Garvagh which will take place later in the year.
Randox fundraising for AWARE NI and Mind Your Mood came to an end with AWARE NI’s Dragon Boat race on the River Lagan at the end of June 2019. Two Randox boats competed against 12 others in a race against the clock, with one Team Randox boat reaching the semi-final of the event.
Eddie Friel, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Ulster University said:
“Ulster University and Randox have a long-standing partnership built around research, knowledge, sharing, collaboration and student opportunity. This generous sum raised by Randox staff will go a long way in helping to support the mental health activity taking place at our four campuses through the Mind Your Mood initiative.”
Over £14,000 was raised, £10,826 of which was for AWARE NI-related activities and £3,270 for Mind Your Mood.
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Randox Quality Control is set to launch new Acusera Verify linearity sets at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry 2019.
Randox Linearity sets are designed to challenge a larger segment of an instrument’s reportable range, and test validity of system calibration. The Acusera Verify materials will cover testing of C-reactive Protein, Rheumatoid Factor, Lipids, Therapeutic Drugs, and Esoterics, amongst others and are compatible for use with Roche Cobas and Beckman systems.
Materials also include a unique combination of analytes, meaning laboratories do not need multiple products for testing, which reduces both costs and need for storage space.
Lynsey Adams, Randox Quality Control Manager, commented;
“Acusera Verify’s range of instrument-dedicated calibration verifiers are designed to challenge the entire Analytical Measuring Range, whilst remaining convenient to use and helping to meet Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) requirements.”
According to CLIA, a laboratory should perform and document calibration verification procedures at least once every 6 months and/or whenever one of the following occur;
- A complete change of reagents for a procedure is introduced, unless the laboratory can demonstrate that changing reagent lot numbers does not affect the range.
- There is a major preventive maintenance or replacement of critical parts that may influence test performance.
- Control material reflects an unusual trend or shift, or are outside of the laboratory’s acceptable limits, and other means of assessing and correcting unacceptable control values fail to identify and correct the problem.
- Laboratory’s established schedule for verifying the reportable range for patient test results requires more frequent calibration verification.
- New instrument validation.
CLIA also recommends that a minimum of 3 levels are tested covering the low end, mid-point and high end of the reportable range. The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) however, recommend at least 5 levels are tested. It is also considered best practice that laboratories run at least 3 replicates of each level in the same way they would a patient or control sample.
Acusera Verify from Randox QC will ensure that laboratories meet the recommended CLIA and CLSI guidelines in both a timely and costly manner.
Randox Linearity sets available:
- C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Linearity Verifiers
- High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hsCRP) Linearity Verifier
- Esoterics Linearity Verifier
- Rheumatoid Factor (RF) Linearity Verifier
- Lipids Linearity Verifier
- Apolipoprotein A1 (Apo A1) & Apolipoprotein B (Apo B) Linearity Verifier
- Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) Linearity Verifier
- CO2 and Electrolytes Linearity Verifier
Acusera Verify also allows users to access real-time peer group data and automatically-generated statistics through a cloud-based data reduction software package which is supplied with all linearity sets. This provides laboratories with comprehensive graphs of results and at-a-glance performance assessment.