NBT announced as one of seven genomic laboratory hubs

Thursday, 11 October 2018

North Bristol NHS Trust has been announced as one of only seven genomic laboratory hubs in the country as part of a national network of centres that could provide potentially life-changing diagnosis to seriously ill patients.

Matt Hancock, Health and Social Care Secretary, announced that from early 2019 whole genome sequencing will be made available to seriously ill children with a suspected genetic disorder and people with specific types of cancer.

North Bristol NHS Trust will run the service for the South West alongside Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. The work will build on the 100,000 Genomes Project to sequence the genomes of around 70,000 people (100,000 patient samples).

Dr Eileen Roberts, Head of the Bristol Genetics Laboratory based at North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “This means we will be supporting more personalised medicine for patients with cancer and rare diseases in the South West and beyond.

“Treatments will be more tailored and effective to each individual’s own disease profile. Also in some cases patients will be able to avoid aggressive treatments that may be of no benefit.

“It is very exciting to be a part of this – we are proud that our long standing expertise in genomics has been recognised.”

Severn Pathology Pathology Services Director, Dave Gibbs, said: “This award is the culmination of a huge amount of work and I am immensely proud of the staff and facilities that have enabled us to join this nationally important project.

“Now we are able to begin a true transformation that will in all likelihood touch someone dear to each of us.”

“We are thrilled with this announcement as it will enable us to provide more genetic and genomic testing to the South West region. It is an important step that brings genomic medicine further into mainstream clinical practice and testament to the incredible work of the team at the Bristol Genetics Laboratory,” said Professor Andrew Mumford, clinical director of the West of England NHS Genomic Medicine Centre.