Healthcare Professionals Overview

Clinicians who order a genomic test are expected to ensure the patient, carer or family member knows the purpose of the test and what the results may mean for them. The Royal College of Physicians have developed guidelines on Consent and Confidentiality in Genomic Medicine.

Healthcare professionals may also have some questions on the genomic medicine service in Central and South. We have detailed below some Frequently Asked Questions. If you have questions not covered by the FAQs below, please contact us using the details on our Contact Us page.

No. Every test listed in the National Genomics Test Directories has been commissioned by NHS England. This means referring Trusts will not be charged for these tests, as long as eligibility criteria for the test is met.

Eligibility criteria for genomic tests are detailed in the National Genomics Test Directories.

Information on who can order a genomic test is detailed in the Test Directory. If you are unsure if you can order a test, please contact us.

Most genomic tests are provided by a Trust’s designated local Genomic Laboratory Hub according to their geographical location. For some specialist tests, samples may be forwarded onto another GLH for testing. This will not affect the referral process or the return of results.

All data used for genomic analysis is kept secure and confidential. More information is available on the NHS England website.

The results of a patient’s genomic test will be added to their patient record.

It is normal practice in the NHS to store the DNA and/or RNA extracted from a sample even after the current testing is complete, as it may be used for future analysis and/or to ensure other testing (for example that of family members) is of high quality.

For Whole Genome Sequencing, the data from genomic tests is entered into a secure national database for the NHS Genomic Medicine Service. This system will store data about the test and results. Only staff with approved access can see this data.

As part of the NHS Genomic Medicine Service all patients undergoing whole genome sequencing will be given the option to contribute their genomic data to a secure library so that approved researchers may access that data in a form that does not identify them. If patients choose to do this then your data will be helping researchers and scientists to develop the treatments of tomorrow.

No. Most of the analysis of samples will be done by scientists and laboratory staff at the GLH. They will provide a clinical report for the clinician who referred the test. For some tests, including Whole Genome Sequencing, clinical input may be needed to interpret the results. This may mean some clinicians are invited to attend a local or regional MDT.  

It is recognised nationally that clinicians experience and confidence in interpreting genomic test reports is likely to vary widely. As genomics moves into routine clinical care, it is expected this will improve. As part of this,  Health Education England have established a Genomics Education Programme which includes resources and courses to help educate and train staff. Central and South Genomics will also deliver training and education to staff across our region. More information on this will be provided shortly.