Northern Genetics Service

Information for Health Care Professionals

The site was developed for the Primary Care Genetics Service for the North of Tyne (PCGS), by two GPs working in the Northern Region, in collaboration with the Northern Genetics Service.

 Group photo: John Burn, Paul Brennan, Michael Wright, Kathy Greenough, Susan Fairgrieve & Kate Cushing

Primary Care Genetics

The pages in this part of the website have been developed to provide an important resource for GPs and others working within Primary Care in the Northern Region.

The PCGS was set up in 2005 as a 3 year pilot project funded by the Department of Health via Newcastle Primary Care Trust and received ongoing short-term funding from NHS North of Tyne. 10 similar projects were set up around the country following a Governmental initiative to encourage the uptake of new genetic advances within Primary Care, with the intention of benefiting the wider population. The main aim of the PCGS was to champion and facilitate genetics education within Primary Care.  It also had strategic and liaison roles, facilitating dialogue and development of cohesive care pathways between Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Care.

The following pages provide information on a range of genetic subjects relevant to Primary Care.  In addition, it aims to raise the awareness of the role of the Primary Care Team in the identification, prevention and care of genetic conditions and of inherited factors in the predisposition of common disease such as cancer, ischaemic heart disease and diabetes.

Until recently genetics has been a relatively small specialty concerned with rare single gene/chromosomal disorders. However, since the Human Genome Project, the impact of genetics on clinical care has greatly increased. Genetics is, and will become, increasingly pertinent to common diseases which are seen in General Practice.

Looking at the current situation within Primary Care, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Curriculum Statement in 2006 on Genetics in Primary Care, stated that “at least 1 in 10 patients seen in Primary Care has a disorder with a genetic component” and GPs deal with an average of 1-2 consultations per month relating to cancer that runs in the family. The introduction of genetics as part of the RCGP curriculum for General Practice came into force in August 2007. This reinforces the importance of genetics across the range of healthcare, and the central role that Primary Care must play both now and in the future.

The information available on the following pages is the result of work done by Dr Kathy Greenough and Dr Kate Cushing. 

Our special thanks go to all those who have contributed and helped us.  Especially we would like to thank Dr Michael Wright, Dr Maggie Ireland, Dr Fiona Douglas, Dr Miranda Split and Dr Paul Brennan.  Our thanks also go to Susan Fairgrieve, Kim Moonlight, Dr Peter Carey, Dr Stephen Stewart, Dr Dermot Neely, Professor Day, Professor Corris, Dr Willie Barker, Dr Mark Walker, Anne Swanson and Ann Bassom.

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