The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has released a major report, Genomics and genome editing in the NHS. The report is the result of its 2017 inquiry, to which Cambridge-based think tank, the PHG Foundation, provided extensive written and oral evidence.
Getting the most out of genomics for the UK
PHG Foundation Director Dr Mark Kroese commented:
This is a robust and far-reaching report; we endorse the conclusions of the Science and Technology Committee and urge the Government to act on their recommendations to ensure that UK citizens gain the maximum benefits from genomic medicine.
The report makes five broad recommendations for the UK Government:
- Invest in large-scale NHS digital infrastructure – to ensure that genomic data can be collected, analysed and used to inform clinical decision-making
- Prepare the NHS workforce – embed genomics in all relevant training courses and medical revalidation processes
- Ensure public understanding and support - consult on, confirm, and publicise, the consent framework for the planned National Genomic Medicine Service as soon as possible and improve public knowledge about genomics
- Capture the commercial value of NHS datasets – integrate genomic and other NHS patient data with that held by private companies to generate income and underpin the development of new drugs and treatments, whilst protecting patient privacy
- Conduct and publish an evaluation of the 100,000 Genomes Project - as a vital source of evidence for evaluating the clinical- and cost-effectiveness of genomic medicine for different conditions and to inform implementation in routine services
The Committee expresses particular concern that budgets for some of these actions remain unallocated or are set to be reduced, and warn that appropriate commitments to investment are vital to prevent unnecessary delays to the introduction of an effective NHS National Genomic Medicine Service planned by NHSE.
PHG Foundation's Dr Philippa Brice outlines the recommendations in her blog Getting the most out of genomics for the UK
The PHG Foundation is a health policy think tank with a special focus on how genomics and other emerging health technologies can provide more effective, personalised healthcare and deliver improvements in population health.