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Health Education England puts the spotlight on Genomics

29 June 2021

A week-long programme of activities aimed at raising awareness and tackling misconceptions around the role Genomics plays in the delivery of health care kicked off this week.   

Developed by Health Education England’s Health Genomics Education Programme (GEP) the #GenomicsConversation (28 June to 4 July is an annual event aimed at nurses, midwives and health visitors across the country, offering them the chance to learn more about genomics and discover how relevant it is to their practice.  

Genomics is used in healthcare in a variety of ways including early screening for conditions such as cancer especially where there is a family history of the condition. It is also being used to help provide a diagnosis for those suffering with a rare condition. 

A HEE survey carried out last year found that nurses, midwives and health visitors did not think genomics was relevant to their role, many considered it too technical and said they did not have time to learn about it. 

HEE’s GEP team used learning from the survey to create a week of activities to highlight how genomics is relevant to their practice and that they can learn the fundamentals in a fun, quick and easy way. The activities on offer include podcasts, Twitter polls, and access to a variety of tailored learning resources and courses.   

Professor Mark Radford, Chief Nurse, Health Education England said:  

"I am delighted to support the week of conversation on Genomics. It important that healthcare staff have good understanding of genomics and how it can help make improved diagnosis, support targeted treatments, and predict and prevent disease.  

This is a fantastic opportunity for healthcare staff to increase their knowledge and understanding of genomics and I hope they take the chance to get involved in what promises to be a great week.”  

What is Genomics?  

Genomics is the study of all of a person's genes (the genome), you can read all of the information in a person’s DNA at once, and in some cases use it to build a clearer picture of health and disease. This is leading to changes in the way healthcare staff diagnose, treat and care for patients and their families.  

To find out more about the week and activities on offer visit:   

The #GenomicsConversation web page  

The Genomics Education Programme Website  

Genomics Education Programme Twitter page