Creating a new NHS England: Health Education England, NHS Digital and NHS England have merged. Learn more.
Chief Scientific Officer England debates future of Genomics at US Conference
Chief Scientific Officer Sue Hill will today (27 April) deliver an overview on how genomics and personalised medicine is set to transform the NHS at a conference in New Orleans.
Headlined – Genomics, Data & Personalised Medicine – The UK Experience of Transforming Care for the Future, the presentation will also explore aspects of the early findings from whole human genome sequencing project and how this knowledge is being adapted and introduced into clinical care in the UK.
Professor Sue Hill is head of profession for the 50,000 healthcare science workers in the NHS and associated bodies – embracing more than 50 separate scientific specialisms. She is a respiratory scientist by background with an international academic and clinical research reputation.
She said: “This major conference for the lab medicine community provides a tremendous opportunity to showcase what the 100,000 Genomes Project has achieved to date and our vision for the NHS in the future.”
“The genomic revolution is set to transform healthcare around the world. The UK is central in the development of genomic medicine with the 100,000 Genomes Project bringing genomic medicine across the healthcare system in England. Through NHS Genomic Medicine Centres, clinicians are moving to a more scientifically advanced diagnosis and characterisation of patients to deliver more precise, targeted diagnoses and treatments.”
The two day event, at the Executive War College pathology conference, will feature a series of international innovators, speakers and leading lab executives and pathologists.
In January 2016, Great Ormond Street Hospital announced the outcomes of the first five children to receive a genetic diagnosis through the 100,000 genome project. Sue Hill described it as ‘the start of a unique diagnostic journey that will change the outcomes and treatments, not just for the patients involved in the project but for other children who may be affected by a host of genetic conditions’.
She added: “The more people who come forward to participate in the Project, the greater the body of knowledge there will be to inform diagnoses and patient care in the future.”
- Read Sue Hill’s blog – Genomics pioneers on the edge of a new frontier
I listened to Radio 4’s ‘Personalised Medicine: Dose by Design’ in the Inside Health series and am still rocking. I have had a hard and anxiety-inducing fight to remain on co-proxamol because it is the ONLY painkiller that works for my condition of extremely abnormal gut motility. When I was given co-codamol instead, my pain reached such a terrifying level that I would not have survived if it had been allowed to continue.
Prof Munir Pirmohamed stated that 8% of the population do not have the genome responsible for producing the enzyme needed to metabolise codeine: of course! Different people clearly respond differently to different painkillers and a blanket ban is hurting people who are least able to bear more pain. Now I know this isn’t just a rational response but a science-based one.
If the NHS continues to follow a one-size fits all prescribing approach that leaves patients in unendurable pain, there will be deaths as a result. Please review the policy as a matter of urgency.
All these initiatives are concealing the reality that the NHS is now no longer “national” since the removal of the NHS from democratic control as a result of the fundamental changes introduced by the last Conservative led Government in 2013.
Even NHS England cannot guarantee that any identified “improvements” are actually implemented by the now “independent” NHS Foundation trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups – neither can Jeremy Hunt or the Department of Health.