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About the Centre

The NHS National Genetics and Genomics Education Centre was established in 2005 and funded by the Department of Health as one of the major initiatives of the 2003 Genetics White Paper 'Our Inheritance, Our Future – Realising the potential of genetics in the NHS'. One of the main aims of the Centre was to improve the understanding of genetics among healthcare professionals and its role in modern healthcare.

Supporting the ongoing education of health professionals in genetics and, more recently, genomics has been a key component of our work, and this work will continue. As part of the policy for sustainability provided for in the Human Genome Strategy Group’s 2012 report, ‘Building on our inheritance: genomic technology in healthcare’, in June 2014 the Centre was integrated into the National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS) to support Health Education England’s Genomics Education programme. For more details of this exciting next step, please see this article.

The work of the Centre

Working together with healthcare professionals, educators, trainers, patient groups and professional organisations such as Royal Colleges, Higher Education Institutes and Healthcare Trusts, the Centre has:

Overview-document-2013More detailed information about the Centre's most recent priorities are available in our overview document 'Genetics and genomics for healthcare'.

A PDF document

Genetics and genomics for healthcare

An overview of the current work of the NHS National Genetics and Genomics Education Centre for 2013 - 2014

 

 

 

Key aims of the Centre

The primary goals of the Centre during its existence were:

  1. Providing leadership in genetics education
  2. Helping to raise awareness of genetics and genomics
  3. Involving patients and their families in informing all aspects of our work
  4. Identifying the genetics knowledge, skills and attitudes which are useful for clinical roles
  5. Developing a framework for competence in genetics
  6. Facilitating the integration of genetics into curricula and courses
  7. Identifying and developing resources appropriate to the needs of health professionals (and their trainers)
  8. Supporting and disseminating learning from service development initiatives in genetics

Working with healthcare professionals and patients

We sought to identify the learning needs and skill requirements of NHS healthcare professional groups, since our early work confirmed that most healthcare groups did not believe that genetics was relevant to their role. To do this, we gathered views from patients, students, practitioners and educators, and worked closely with the following NHS healthcare professional groups:

Learning outcomes, encompassing pre-registration to post-registration education, were developed and adopted into curricula. We also worked with representatives of over 12 allied health professional groups and Skills for Health to develop a workforce competence framework for genetics activities in practice, which were accepted as National Occupational Standards in July 2007, and later updated to include genomics in April 2014.

An overview of service development initiatives involving mainstreaming genetics services

In 2004 funding was given by the Department of Health for various service development initiatives to be set up, which involved piloting the incorporation of genetics into mainstream services. Background information is available about these projects and initiatives.