What does the GMS mean for patients?
The NHS in England has created the NHS Genomic Medicine Service (GMS), which is working to make sure everyone around the country can now access advanced genomic diagnosis and personalised treatments when it is right for their care, including offering whole genome sequencing. They have created a National Genomic Test Directory which details which tests are available in the NHS and for who, and brought together labs across the country into one, coordinated network.
- The National Genomic Test Directory means that the same tests are available across the country, and a consistent approach is taken to choosing tests for patients.
- It includes tests used to diagnose and choose treatments in cancer, rare and inherited conditions. For more information on the types of test you may be offered, visit our “Why might I have a genetic test?” section.
- The service and tests offered are regularly reviewed so new technologies and tests can be introduced more quickly into the NHS
- As research is a key part of the new service, we will be more able to evaluate and introduce new genomic tests in the future to keep up with the latest research and developments
It is also hoped that the benefits of this kind of testing, over time, will result in:
- Faster diagnosis
- Personalised medicine with treatments that best suit the patient
- Improved cancer survival
Find out more about the NHS GMS. The NHS GMS was created based on the success of the 100,000 Genomes Project, which has helped doctors better understand, and ultimately treat, rare and inherited diseases and various cancers. You can find out more about the 100,000 Genomes Project here and on the Genomics England website.
Led by Genomics England and NHS England, the 100,000 Genomes Project was a ground-breaking initiative established to sequence 100,000 genomes from more than 85,000 NHS patients affected by a rare disease or cancer.
The project ran from 2012-2018 and provided an in-depth look at participants’ genomes to help doctors better understand, and ultimately treat, rare and inherited diseases and various cancers.
Links to further information
NHS Genomic Medicine Service
The NHS Genomic Medicine Service (NHS GMS) is the arm of the NHS working to enable the NHS to harness the power of genomic technology and science to improve the health of our population.
The aims of the NHS GMS are to provide:
- Consistent and equitable care for the country’s 55 million people
- A single National Genomic Test Directory covering use of all genomic technologies from single genes to whole genome sequencing
- A national genomic knowledge base to provide real world data to inform academic and industry research and development