News posted 3 October, 2018

North West Genomics Partnership

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The North West Genomics Partnership, hosted by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, is delighted to note the decision announced yesterday by NHS England that it has been chosen as one of the seven Genomics Laboratories across the country.

In addition, the North West Genomics Partnership has been successful in bidding to provide eight specialist testing categories which are:

  • Cardiology
  • Haematology
  • Hearing
  • Immunology
  • Metabolic
  • Neurology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Inherited cancer*

* Awarded in conjunction with the North East.

The North West has invested in creating an excellent infrastructure for clinical genomic testing. The success of the bid will enable the partners to work as a single North West Genomics Laboratory Service to share expertise and specialist knowledge which will significantly enhance genetic testing in patients with rare and inherited diseases and for patients with cancer helping to provide accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Recognition as an NHSE-commissioned North West Genomics Laboratory Service will also create new opportunities to link with academic and industry partners on research and development programmes for new genomic tests. This will in turn create career development options for staff and contribute to the regional economy, as well as improving health outcomes.

Sir Mike Deegan, Chief Executive of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, which hosts the North West Genomics Partnership, said: “Today’s announcement reflects the great work already going on across the North West region and the opportunity we all have to further develop genomic services for patients in partnership with our academic and commercial partners.”

Steve Warburton, Chief Executive of Aintree and Chair of LCL, said: “This announcement is great news, both for our staff and for our patients. By working together with partners from across the North West we can enhance the genetic testing we are able to offer now while developing new genomic tests which will ultimately improve health outcomes for our patients in the future.”

Roger Spencer, Chief Executive of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The announcement is recognition of the strong spirit of collaboration we’ve brought to this work. Genomics is an extremely exciting area of health science and we’re delighted to be at the forefront of something that will have a significant impact on patient outcomes.”

Gerry Skailes, Medical Director of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said, “Genomic medicine is the next big breakthrough in medical science, and will revolutionise how we diagnose and treat people in the future.  We are delighted to be part of this partnership, and building on the great progress we’ve already made with the 100k genomes project which is improving diagnosis, and making personalised medicine a reality.”

The new Genomic Laboratory Hubs will help to:

  • Address the variation in quality and access to genetic testing across the country especially in cancer.
  • Improve the information available in terms of spending on testing and the type of tests being performed.
  • Broaden our understanding of the cause of disease and the effectiveness of the interventions that will be offered to patients and their families to help deliver high quality care for all, now and for future generations.