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Issue 1 | January 2023

Welcome from Vicky and Annette

Welcome to the first edition of the NHS East Genomic Medicine Service Alliance (GMSA) Nursing and Midwifery Newsletter. This first edition is to say 'hello' and introduce you to the GMSA, and the nursing and midwifery team.

We briefly introduce the National Nursing and Midwifery Genomic Transformation Programme which is exploring nursing and midwifery touchpoints across 7 cancer or rare disease pathways (more on that below). Next month we'll be exploring Monogenic Diabetes and Lynch Syndrome.

Please share this newsletter with your colleagues and, if you haven't already, sign up to receive this newsletter here.

Vicky Carr 

East GMSA Nurse Lead
Cambridge University Hospitals

Annette Breen

East GMSA Nurse Lead

Nottingham University Hospitals

What is Genomics?

About East Genomic Medicine Service Alliance (GMSA)

NHS East GMSA is one of 7 national GMSAs working together to support clinical leadership and embed genomic medicine in end-to-end pathways and routine care for improved prediction, prevention, diagnosis and precision medicine. Ultimately to benefit patients.

East GMSA covers a population of approximately 8.3 million and aligns with the NHS Genomics Laboratory Hub (GLH) geography.  Together East GMSA and East GLH make up East Genomics - a partnership of 29 NHS Trusts across the East of England and East Midlands. The four main partner Trusts are:

  • Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH)
  • Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH)
  • Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH)
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL)

Developing new genomic care pathways

The National Nursing and Midwifery Genomics Transformation Programme aims to integrate genomics into mainstream nursing and midwifery practice across the NHS in England. The 7 care pathways above are our starting point.

Over the next 2 years, the programme will engage with hundreds of nurses and midwives, as well as patients and charities to support the development of knowledge and skills in genomics, define exemplar genomic pathways and accelerate the adoption of best practice.  This will help improve equity of access for our patients across the country irrespective of where they live or where they are cared for.

By embedding genomic medicine into routine clinical care, we can deliver faster and more accurate diagnoses, personalised treatment, and prevention through early detection.

NHS North East and Yorkshire GMS are leading work on developing a new Lung Cancer Pathway, which will be launched in 2023. We will provide more information at the time of launch.

At East GMSA we are focussing on the Polycystic Kidney Disease project which we will start in January 2023. Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease leads to cysts in the kidneys and liver, and sometimes pancreas. 

It causes renal pain, reduced renal function, high blood pressure, renal stones and 50% of those affected will develop renal failure by the time they are 60 years old.  It affects between 1 in 1,000 – 2,500.  Genomic testing is important to help plan more appropriate care pathways and inform reproductive choices for those affected by autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease and for live donors, and to inform reproductive choices. Treatments can reduce symptoms and the risk of complications.

Polycystic kidney disease affects people across the whole life-span so we are looking for nurses and midwives to join us to take our work forward.  Please contact us if you would like to contribute to this workstream.

Genomics in Nursing and Midwifery Conference success

Over 70 nurses and midwives from many job families and grades came to Leicester on 22 November for our first Nursing and Midwifery conference.

Delegates represented 20 NHS Trusts and five Universities. We were delighted to see so many roles and specialties represented, from CNSs, midwives, research nurses and nurse consultants, to Ward Managers, Deputy Chief Nurses and Heads of Midwifery.

You can see the slides for the keynotes and Nursing session here and the Midwifery session here. Recordings of our Keynote speakers and Nursing parallel sessions will be available to watch on our YouTube channel shortly

Meet the East GMSA Nursing and Midwifery Team

Contact: Melissa Cambell-Kelly, Annette Breen, Vicky Carr, Katy Blakely. We also have a network of LINK Nurses across our 29 Partner Trusts. If would like to know who your local Genomic LINK Nurse is, please contact us here.

Education, Training and Resources

The Genomics Education Programme has a wide range of free to access learning and education resources for nurses, midwives and health visitors.  No matter where you are in your leaning journey about genomics, there is something for you to build your knowledge and support your NMC revalidation including:
  • Bite size genomics a series of 10 minute animations and films
  • Genomics 101 a series of 9 short introductory courses, each lasting about 30 minutes for those with a little bit or no knowledge about genomics
  • Taught courses up to Masters level
And much more!  Take a look around the Genomics Education Programme pages.

Useful links

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