Professor Dame Sally Davies’s eighth independent report to government as Chief Medical Officer looks at how genomics can improve health and prevent ill-health. The report discusses the current state of genomic service provision in the NHS in England and explores the potential of genomics to improve health and prevent ill-health.
One of the key themes throughout the report was that bringing genomics into routine microbiological practice holds the promise of rapidly diagnosing both the cause of infection and its susceptibility to treatment, which will help to reduce the threat of antimicrobial resistance.
The report makes seven recommendations:
- DH establishes a new National Genomics Board, chaired by a minister
- NHSE should, as planned, recommission all genomics services nationally to ensure a national network which enables equitable service provision across the country
- That NHSE embeds implementation research (including cost effectiveness) at all stages of service redevelopment and laboratory recon guration, supported by NIHR
- The recommendations also list the issues that should be considered by both NHSE in its new commissioning plans for genomics and DH in the national implementation plans under the UK Rare Disease Strategy
- NHSE and PHE explore the feasibility of integrating laboratory services for screening tests using sequencing technology into any centralised genomic service
- The National Screening Committee conducts a systematic evaluation of the opportunities offered by genomics for present and potential screening practices
- NHSE, working with the National Screening Committee, ensures that the implementation of contingent non-invasive pre-natal testing (NIPT) is accompanied by an evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of universal NIPT testing for Down’s syndrome and other indications