Vision for future of genomics in UK health system

25 January 2012

A new report from the government advisory body the Human Genomics Strategy Group (HGSG), Building on our inheritance, sets out a new strategic vision for how the UK can benefit from the adoption of genomic technologies in mainstream health services (see previous news).
Genomics are said to have ‘the potential to transform the delivery of healthcare in the UK’, from outbreak control, disease prevention and improvements in population health through to diagnosis and treatment, and are already delivering important benefits in medicine and public health (see examples).
The report makes recommendations on the necessary next steps to ensure that the UK remains a world leader in genomic science and medicine, and that patients and health service providers gain the maximum benefits via a ‘more informed and intelligent application of genomics and genetics’. These include:
  • A government strategy for longer-term adoption of genomic technology in the NHS ensuring translation from research into health practice.
  • Development of a bioinformatics platform and service to store genomic and phenotypic patient data.
  • A lead from the NHS National Commissioning Board (NHSCB) in the commissioning of genetic and genomic services and a ‘hub and spoke’ service delivery infrastructure.
  • New educational standards in genomics for the NHS and public health workforce
  • Ongoing public engagement on the ethical, legal and social issues associated with the use of genomics in mainstream healthcare. 

See the PHG Foundation's official response to the HGSG report.

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