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Whole Genome Sequencing at Birth: Workforce Implications for Healthcare Professionals and Beyond

Progress Educational Trust
Event to be held online, via Zoom Video Webinars
16 March 2022 5.30pm-7.30pm (GMT)

A free-to-attend online event about whole genome sequencing at birth, asking about implications for healthcare professionals if this becomes offered routinely.

Speakers at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend public event 'Whole Genome Sequencing at Birth: Workforce Implications for Healthcare Professionals and Beyond', being held online on Wednesday 16 March 2022 The event will be chaired by Sarah Norcross (Director of PET), with speakers including:

  • Sarah-Jane Marsh (Chair of the Newborn Genomes Programme's NHS Steering Group, and Chief Executive of Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust)

  • Dr Michelle Bishop (Associate Director of Learning and Training at Wellcome Connecting Science)

  • Professor Eamonn Sheridan (Professor of Clinical Genetics at the University of Leeds)

  • Professor Angus Clarke (Professor of Clinical Genetics at Cardiff University)

  • Professor Pali Hungin (Head of the Changing Face of Medicine project)

  • Amanda Pichini (Consultant Genetic Counsellor at Genomics England)

The event is produced by the Progress Educational Trust (PET) in partnership with Genomics England and its Newborn Genomes Programme.

Genomics England's Newborn Genomes Programme will explore – in an ethics-approved research pilot, due to be embedded in the NHS – whether and how whole genome sequencing might, in future, be offered routinely for newborn babies in the UK.

The Newborn Genomes Programme builds on other work, such as the creation of the NHS Genomic Medicine Service, that has already increased the prominence of genomics in healthcare. If whole genome sequencing were offered routinely for newborns, then this would further extend the use of genomics in mainstream health contexts.

At this event, experts and advocates will address questions including:

  • What would routinely sequencing the whole genomes of newborns entail for healthcare professionals, both inside and outside the fields of genetics and genomics?

  • What arrangements would need to be made, and what training and information would need to be in place, in order for routine whole genome sequencing to be achievable?

  • How can whole genome sequencing best be integrated with other aspects of postnatal care? How will it relate to the established NHS newborn blood spot screening programme?

  • What can be learned from people's experiences to date, of embedding genomics in the UK health system? What have been the successes? What have been the difficulties?

  • What can be done to help bring the healthcare workforce on board?

If discussing this event on social media, please use the hashtag #GenomicsConversation

Attendees will not be audible or visible during this online event, but will still be able to put questions and comments to the speakers and chair, via a Q&A tool within Zoom Video Webinars.