Inquiry on genomics and gene editing in the NHS

24 October 2017

The PHG Foundation has submitted evidence to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee's inquiry on genomics and gene editing in the NHS.

The enquiry asked for specific consideration of the recommendations of Generation Genome, the Chief Medical Officer’s annual report, for the mainstream application of genomic medicine in the NHS.

Our comments provide perspective and highlight some important issues relating to selected recommendations, which we welcome as playing a valuable role in helping to embed genomics within the mainstream NHS and deliver widespread patient access.

We have previously commented that plans for the reorganisation of genomics services and NHS mainstreaming of genomics will necessitate action by commissioners to allocate additional resources for cost-effective genomic diagnostics that can improve the quality and volume of care delivered via the new service, particularly where this will introduce not only new testing costs but also a requirement to change existing patient pathways. Without addressing these issues, clinicians will be unable to access the tests and the changes in clinical practice required for patients to benefit from genomic medicine will not be delivered.

In order to ensure that the legacy of the 100,000 Genomes Project is maximised, we strongly recommend a formal evaluation of its different work programmes from inception to 2017-18. Results will be critical for informing the design and implementation of future NHS healthcare services