Yesterday Matt Hancock publicly outlined views on the future of genomics in the NHS. In a keynote speech and accompanying article, he emphasised the power of genomic technology to transform future healthcare.  He highlighted three next steps – getting the science right, getting the ethics right and addressing operational concerns, including training for healthcare professionals to be able to interpret data and know next steps. He also flagged that the UK is a world-leader on research ethics and regulating emerging technologies.

Alongside an account of his personal experience with genomic testing, he highlighted the need to separate diagnostic and predictive tests at all levels with the latter requiring more careful thought before being deployed with the right workforce (including more genomic counsellors) and the right training in place. The new National Genomics Healthcare Strategy being drafted by Baroness Blackwood will consider these issues in more detail.

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