Greetings to you all,

 Wellington based training courses 2015.

This year the PPTC is offering 7 courses and these include:

  • Haematology and Blood Cell Morphology: 2 March – 27 March 2015
  • Health and Safety and Infectious Diseases: 13 April – 8 May 2015
  • Laboratory Quality Management Systems: 25 May – 19 June 2015
  • Biochemistry: 13 July – 7 August 2015
  • Microbiology: 31 August – 25 September 2015
  • Phlebotomy: 5 October – 23 October 2015
  • Blood Transfusion Science: 2 November – 27 November 2015

 New Centre Based courses for 2015

 Health and Safety and Infectious Diseases

 a)            Health and Safety Component:

Implementing a laboratory health and safety programme, hazard identification, risk assessment, laboratory premises and design, biohazard waste and disposal of contaminated material; Personal protection; Code of conduct; Staff health and medical surveillance; Administrative procedures; Chemical and dangerous goods storage; Material data safety sheets; Major incident response; Laboratory emergency planning; and Laboratory biosecurity concepts.

 b)           Infectious Diseases Component:

Notifiable diseases; Role of public health; Surveillance and monitoring disease outbreak; Workforce occupational exposure; Communicable diseases; What makes an epidemic; Vaccine availability; Bacterial causes of infectious diseases: Isolation procedures to identify and confirm major bacterial pathogens associated with gastrointestinal infections, seafood poisoning and marine environments, food and water contaminating organisms; Bacterial agents of pneumonia, septicaemia and meningitis; Agents of sexually transmitted infections. Viral causes of infectious diseases: a selective summary of disease specific viruses such as gastrointestinal viruses; respiratory viruses; parasites of infectious disease and mycology review.


The PPTC is offering a three week training course on Phlebotomy. The course contents will address the following topics:

The role of a phlebotomist in the medical laboratory diagnostic process; Anatomy and physiology of specific human tissue (This will take into consideration sites of blood collection, and overall discussion with reference to the circulatory system and normal Haemostasis/Blood coagulation). Patient safety and safety of procedure; The practise of Infection control; Adverse incidents with the application of first aid; The Laboratory and its sample collection policy with reference to laboratory collection forms, Patient identification, Post collection requirements, Tests profiles and Test requirements; Medical abbreviations and medical terminology; Pre analytical variables such as patient status, Collection techniques, Sample storage and transportation; Blood collection (venous and Capillary); Patient assessment and preparation including considerations for both elderly patients and neonatal patients; Site preparation; Sample collection devices and equipment in terms of antiseptics, dressings, evacuated blood collection equipment’s, needles and syringes, tourniquets and sample collection tubes; The Collection process and post collection process for both venous and capillary samples; Blood culture collection; Specialised collection procedures, collection and handling of non-blood specimens (Urines, faeces, sputum, saliva, swabs, mycological samples and seminal fluid, in terms of equipment, collection, specimen stability, sterility, storage, transportation and handling; The handling and transportation of aspirates, Histology and Cytology samples; Specialised test procedures such as Bleeding time, Mantoux test and skin prick testing.

 In country teaching and training

Short term in-country teaching workshops have proven extremely valuable and have made an immediate and significant impact in terms of capacity expansion and up skilling personnel, however on-going consolidation programmes are essential if such a difference in the development or enhancement of skill is to be further advanced and maintained.

The PPTC is currently compiling a potential list of technical consultants who would be prepared to travel the Pacific region on request to assist with capacity building and strengthening  of Pacific Island laboratories.

The PPTC has labelled the situation in the Pacific in terms of Haematology and Biochemistry  as requiring intense corrective action and therefore it plans to intensify its presence through in – country training in 2015 recruiting additional Haematology and Biochemistry expert consultants to increase both frequency and coverage of visits across the Pacific. Consultancies are generally 1 to 2 weeks in  duration  and dependent on PPTC funding availability.

If you are a qualified NZ registered Medical Laboratory Scientist with at least 15 yrs experience in Haematology , Biochemistry or Laboratory Management and would like to be added to our list of consultants we would like to hear from you.

If you could forward a copy of your current CV  to the PPTC  it would be most appreciated.

Teaching resources

Depending on the availability of funding, the PPTC intends to supply appropriate learning material (text books, journals, etc) to Pacific laboratories that are desperately in need of educational resources so as a reference centre can be established within the laboratory as a promotional way forward in terms of professional development.

Can you help?

If any New Zealand medical laboratories have a surplus of teaching resources in terms of wall charts, Haematology stained blood films, projector slides, textbooks, journals etc, the PPTC would be most grateful if they could be donated through its Centre to Pacific Island laboratories where there is an exceptional need.

Overseas Travel:                                   

January 2015: Phil Wakem and Navin Karan both attended the PIHOA (Pacific Island Health Officers Association) meeting in Guam. The theme of this meeting focused on the enhancement of  quality with reference to the public health laboratory services in the US affiliated Pacific Islands through regional capacity building.

Russell Cole, the PPTC’S Laboratory Quality Manager carried out his first LQMS visit to Kiribati and during his stay also visited the Marine Training Centre to assess the laboratory’s quality programme.

Pacific Infectious Substances Shipping Training (ISST) -Nadi, Fiji , 9- 11 February 2015,

Navin attended the above  training workshop provided by WHO in Nadi  Fiji . The training addressed shipping requirements for all potentially infectious substances, focusing particularly  on highly infectious materials.  He also presented a paper on “Using New Zealand Laboratories for Diagnosis and Confirmation of Emerging Infectious Diseases” as part of the training session on “Strengthening Laboratory Preparedness to Emerging Infectious Diseases”.

ISST Fiji 2015

Farewell to Clare Murphy

Clare M


Clare is a NZ graduate from the Australian National University. She started her career in Laboratory work at what was then Gisborne Hospital, becoming a specialist in Clinical Chemistry at Wellington Hospital working mostly in Quality, initially in quality control, and latterly in quality management where she became the Laboratory Services Quality Manager for Capital and Coast DHB. Clare performed this role for many years.

Since 1987 and for nearly three decades on, Clare pioneered and managed the  PPTC  Clinical Chemistry External Quality Assessment Programme for laboratories across the Pacific and South East Asia. Clare initially began as a volunteer and took responsibility for 12 Pacific participating laboratories using Wellington Hospital QC material. From this, the programme has now expanded to 58 participants which now utilises RCPA QAP material and statistics allowing the programme to monitor a large variety of analytes. Clare has worked closely with the RCPA QAP, and their support and generosity is greatly appreciated by the PPTC.

It is of great sadness that we are to say farewell to Clare as the PPTC Regional External Quality Assurance Co-ordinator for Biochemistry. She has given total dedication and commitment to this programme and has contributed greatly to the education and capacity strengthening of Clinical Laboratories throughout the Pacific and South East Asian regions. The PPTC is very fortunate however to retain Clare as a consultant and as such, she will continue  to  offer support to the Centre and to Pacific Laboratories  in terms of  guidance and expertise in such areas as Laboratory Quality Management and REQA.

Apart from PPTC responsibilities, Clare continues to hold the position of  Point of Care Testing Coordinator at Wellington Hospital, New Zealand.

 Contact Us:

Phone and E-Mail:     Telephone (64) (4) 389 6294,


Postal Address  :         PO Box 7013,  Wellington 6242 , New Zealand