Unlocking the benefits of genetic testing at NUH | Celebrating the NHS turning 75

Celebrating the NHS turning 75

NHS 75 To help celebrate the NHS turning 75 this week, we are shining a spotlight on the work of some of our NHS heroes across Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) as well as remembering key milestones for the Trust, including when King Charles was a patient at the Queen’s Medical Centre and celebrating 45 years of clinical genetics at NUH.    

Here you can find the latest news and stories relating to our celebrations as we begin a week of recognising 75 years of the National Health Service.  

At NUH, the 75th anniversary provides the opportunity to reflect on past achievements and recognise where we are today whilst looking ahead to the future, with our People First report helping to set the direction for the Trust to reflect on what is needed.  

We will also be reflecting on the huge achievements of the NHS as a whole such as treating over a million people a day in England and the fact that the NHS touches all of our lives.  

When it was founded in 1948, the NHS was the first universal health system to be available to all, free at the point of delivery.  

From the world’s first CT scan on a patient in 1971, revolutionising the way doctors examine the body, to the world’s first test-tube baby born in 1978, the NHS has delivered huge medical advances. 

Below are some NUH NHS stories which we hope you will enjoy to celebrate this huge milestone.  

Unlocking the benefits of genetic testing at NUH

Genetic testing is a powerful tool within the NHS. It can give answers to a family living with a rare and undiagnosed condition, reveal an inherited condition before any symptoms, find out if a pregnancy will have a genetic condition, or catch a cancer early. Each year genetic testing improves and saves the lives of thousands of patients across the UK. 

In this 75th year of the NHS, we wanted to mark the milestone a little closer to home and celebrate over 45 years if Clinical Genetics at Nottingham University Hospitals.  

From humble beginnings of 1977, the service now has more than 30 clinical staff and supports over 5000 patients each year through genetic testing.  

Increasing capacity for genetic testing at NUH 

In our Neonatal Intensive care Unit and Paediatric Intensive care Unit (NICU and PICU) we have introduced specialist genetic counsellors to arrange testing for acutely unwell infants, which provides results within 2-3 weeks. 

Marie-Anne O’Reilly, Lead Genetic Counsellor, Clinical Genetics, explains: “In the UK, 10- 15% of all births result in admission to a neonatal intensive care unit. Initial clinical presentation may not accurately predict future clinical and developmental outcomes; however rapid genomic testing has the potential to transform the diagnosis and care of babies with rare or inherited genetic conditions. 

“This new ‘link’ role between NICU/PICU and Clinical Genetics will enable more families to benefit from genomic testing.” 

Within Ophthalmology we are training specialist orthoptists and nurses in genomic testing indications, counselling and consenting. 

Dr Ajoy Sarkar, Head of Clinical Genetics, said: “Through upskilling healthcare professionals outside of our specialist Clinical Genetics service, we can increase the ability and capacity of many more NUH services to identify underlying genetic causes of conditions in their patients. 

“By doing so, we aim to get more people referred for testing and into management or treatment of their condition earlier, which we know improves outcomes for patients.” 

You can find out more about the department at www.nuh.nhs.uk/clinical-genetics  

Both projects are run by NHS East Genomics. You can find out more at www.eastgenomics.nhs.uk   

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