Birmingham trust nominated to run £1.8m genetics centre

Birmingham Women's Healthcare Trust have won a bid to run the new Genetics Education and Development Centre.

The Centre, which will educate NHS staff about genetics and the role it plays in modern healthcare, is part of the Government's wider £50 million strategy to make sure that patients benefit from the latest developments in genetic knowledge.

It has been set up in response to the increasing need for staff to understand how a patient's genetic make-up affects the likelihood of developing different diseases, and how they might respond to different medicines.

Announcing the winning bid today Health Secretary John Reid said: "Birmingham should be proud that it will become the centre for genetics education for the whole NHS. The Birmingham Women's Healthcare Trust beat distinguished rivals to become the home of this new education centre. It is part of a £50 million pound Government strategy to ensure NHS patients benefit fully from the latest developments in genetic knowledge.

"Improving the understanding and knowledge of staff is key if NHS patients are to fully benefit from the genetics revolution. Clinical staff need to know how genetic technology can be used in diagnosis, prevention and treatment so that they can help patients make informed choices about whether to take a genetic test or which treatment to choose.

This centre will mean that education in genetics will become an integral part of all professional training programmes, not only for undergraduates but also for existing staff".

Allocated £600,000-a-year for an initial three-year period. the centre will be staffed by a team of specialists from education and clinical practice led by Professor Peter Farndon, who is recognised as one of the leading figures in genetics in the UK and has particular expertise in education.

Affiliated to NHSU, the centre will work with professional and academic bodies as well as other training providers to identify the learning and skills gaps for different groups of staff, particularly GPs so that they are able to access genetics education and training when required.

The centre will be responsible for identifying the core skills which all genetic training and education should cover, producing materials to support learning.

Seminars and workshops to help to raise the profile of genetics will also be run.


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