Geneticists boost practice knowledge

GPs need to be supported by specialist genetics services to help improve the way genetic concepts are communicated to patients, UK research has revealed.

A pilot study, trialled in Nottingham, found that the use of genetic counsellors had a positive impact with all of the GPs involved in the study recommending the use of genetic counsellors nationwide.

It has been acknowledged that clinical genetic services will not be able to cope with demand.
Earlier this year, the Scottish Executive pledged an extra £10 million pounds for genetics in primary care.

The DoH has said that GPs will have an expanding role to play in relation to genetic issues.
For the study, tailored genetic educational outreach was delivered by a genetic counsellor to 10 randomly selected practices in Central England for 12 months.

A range of genetic services was provided by the counsellor, including genetic update sessions, an advice service to help explain genetic risk to couples expecting a child, which may include cystic fibrosis, and referral guidelines for familial breast and ovarian cancer.

The service provided by the counsellor was then evaluated using pre and post intervention questionnaires and via seven structured interviews.

All of the 38 GPs involved in the study were very positive about the genetic counsellor. All felt that they had gained knowledge and confidence.

A number of GPs added that by talking part in the study, limitations and gaps in their current knowledge of genetics had been identified.

The survey was published in the Journal of Genetic Counseling Online 2007.

Comment below and tell us what you think


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Mobile phone

GPs urge caution over plan for NHS health checks to go digital

GP leaders have warned that changes to the NHS health checks programme must be evidence-based...

Debbie Boughtflower

How career coaching can transform the lives of veterans

GPs across England and Wales can refer patients who used to work in the armed forces...

RCGP chair Professor Kamila Hawthorne

RCGP raises 'major concerns' over practice-level appointments data

The RCGP has written to health and social care secretary Steve Barclay warning that...

Labour shadow health and social care secretary Wes Streeting

GPs condemn 'ignorant' Labour rhetoric over access to appointments

Doctors' leaders have accused the Labour party of 'demonising' GPs after it claimed...


Government NHS pension reform plans 'too little too late', warns BMA

Government plans to boost retention of doctors through reforms to the NHS pension...

Child in bed with a fever

GPs told to have 'low threshold' for prescribing antibiotics in possible strep A cases

GPs have been urged to have a 'low threshold' for prescribing antibiotics and hospital...