Guidance and practical advice on incorporating genetics into healthcare roles
Incorporating appropriate genetics activities into non genetics healthcare specialities can assist in the identification, diagnosis, prognosis, management and treatment of a number of conditions. This so called 'mainstreaming' of genetics may occur through joint clinics with genetics professionals or by developing the roles of existing healthcare professionals to include genetics activities.
A number of reports developed by the PHG Foundation have identified the key considerations that should be made when undertaking the development of a service incorporating genetics activities:
Genetics and mainstream medicine: service development and integration - Dr Hilary Burton, PHG Foundation
Heart to Heart: inherited cardiovascular conditions services - Dr Hilary Burton, PHG Foundation
Genetic ophthalmology in focus: a needs assessment and review of specialist services for genetic eye disorders - Dr Hilary Burton, PHG Foundation
Identifying and incorporating genetics activities into practice
In developing a service it is important to identify the specific genetics activities that would need to be undertaken to support the patient and to assign these activities to the most appropriate healthcare professional. In collaboration with Skills for Health we have developed a framework of 9 workforce competences in genetics that follow the patient pathway, based around three main themes:
- Identifying individuals with or at risk of a genetic condition
- Management of genetic conditions
- Communicating genetic information
For more information about these activities visit the workforce competences section.
A toolkit for developing services involving genetics
Developing new services requires the consideration of a large number of factors including:
- liaison with other medical specialties
- creation of clinical pathways
- effective communication strategies
- appropriate education and training
In collaboration with healthcare providers who have undertaken genetics mainstreaming projects in the past, we have created a Service Development Toolkit with practical advice for those developing services in the future.
For more information about the projects that fed into the toolkit visit the Service Development initiatives: information from previous projects pages.