LGC purchases South African testing firm Thistle QA

Expanding its clinical proficiency testing (PT) offering

LGC has acquired Thistle QA, a South African provider of proficiency testing (PT) schemes, mainly in the clinical sector, for an undisclosed sum.

Thistle’s schemes include 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; and food microbiology and forensic analysis.

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

Euan O’Sullivan, Managing Director, LGC, Standards Division, said: '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.

The combination of our existing expertise and Thistle’s experience will enable us to expand our offering in the clinical sector

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

Jim McCulloch, Director of Thistle, added: '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 each annum, distributed to more than 10,000 participating laboratories in more than 150 countries worldwide.

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.